Federal Judge Stops Arkansas From Defunding Planned Parenthood

News: US News
by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 30, 2016   

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Another federal judge is blocking a state from defunding Planned Parenthood.

On September 29, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker —for the second time — stopped Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson from enforcing a state law taking money from Planned Parenthood.

Suzanna de Baca, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, commented, "This is a win for the Arkansans who rely on Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for birth control, cancer screenings, and other essential health care."


In August 2015, Arkansas lawmakers cut state funds to the abortion giant after the Center for Medical Progress showed undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives trafficking in aborted baby parts.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded soon after with a lawsuit against Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state. In October 2015, Baker granted the first injunction blocking the law, with Planned Parenthood arguing it and its clients would "suffer irreparable harm" if the law went into effect.

Although Planned Parenthood has only two facilities in Arkansas, it claimed clients would not be able to obtain services or would have undue difficulty obtaining them somewhere else. The state disagreed, noting that other facilities provide the same services.

A spokesman for the state attorney general commented on Judge Baker's order, saying it "unfortunately allows Planned Parenthood to continue to use its patients to pad its bottom line at taxpayers' expense."

Since 2015, 12 states have defunded or significantly restricted funding to Planned Parenthood.

Federal judges have blocked laws in three other states — Utah, Kansas, and Ohio — on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

In January the House of Representatives voted to block federal money from Planned Parenthood for a year — taking away 89 percent of its funding — but President Obama vetoed the bill. In September the Obama administration proposed a new rule that would force states to disburse federal money to organizations for abortion and contraception.

Arkansas is appealing the court ruling.


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