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SALT LAKE CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Planned Parenthood is asking a court to reverse its ruling permitting Utah to cut off federal funding to the abortion giant.
The petition was filed Sunday by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah in response to the decision of U.S. district judge Clark Waddoups to uphold Utah governor Gary Herbert's order to halt the federal funds portioned for the "health care" organization.
In August, Gov. Herbert instructed the Utah Department of Health to retain the approximately $275,000 in taxpayer money allotted for Planned Parenthood. The decision came in the wake of a series of exposé videos showing officials of the national abortion provider discussing the sale of aborted baby parts.
"The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling," Herbert said in August.
Initial reactions to the governor's decision accused it of being a "purely political" move, with the executive director of Planned Parenthood in Utah claiming the order "doesn't make any sense other than the fact that he's a GOP governor and the GOP wants to defund Planned Parenthood."
Governor Herbert's order was contested in court by the abortion giant in a lawsuit filed against the state in September. The suit claimed that the governor's decision to strip funding was based solely on allegations leveled against other chapters of Planned Parenthood and that the Utah branch was an important provider of reproductive health services, not a seller of fetal tissue.
However, the December 22 ruling by Judge Waddoups confirmed the governor's legal authority to block the funding. Waddoups ruled that the government of Utah had the right to act to avoid scandal, despite the fact that the Utah chapter of Planned Parenthood was not accused of involvement in the sale of aborted baby parts for profit.
Many within the Utah Department of Health claim the decision would hurt thousands of Utahns by denying them access to healthcare, but Herbert's office stated that the governor believes the ruling acknowledges his capacity to make contractual judgments on behalf of the state, and it was pleased with the court's ruling.
The $275,000 is a meager portion of the Utah "health care" organization's $8 million budget.
Planned Parenthood currently has lawsuits filed against several states, including Texas and Ohio, over the stripping of federal funds. The organization has been successful in Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana, where judges have upheld Planned Parenthood's contracts with the states.