News Contraception

Planned Parenthood: Who’s Defunded, Who’s Injuncted, Who’s Just Out of Luck?

Robin Marty

A roundup of the latest Planned Parenthood news.

Hold on tight to your birth control pills, because here’s the latest in Planned Parenthood news.

Today, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota is arguing for an injunction against the South Dakota mandatory counseling and 72 hour wait law.  “This law represents one of the most egregious attempts in the country to restrict access to health care,” said Planned Parenthood attorney Mimi Liu. “It was passed in flagrant disregard for well-established constitutional rights, and we are here today to ask the Court to stop this law from going into effect and to protect our patients and our doctors from the harm it would inflict.”  Without an injunction, the law will go into effect July 1st, and stay in effect until courts rule on its constitutionality.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Kansas/Mid Missouri is seeking an injunction on a Kansas state law that defunds the group. “This budget amendment is contrary to federal law, impermissibly penalizes Planned Parenthood, and has the effect of restricting Kansans’ access to health care,” said PPFA Senior Staff Attorney Helene Krasnoff. “We hope the court will ensure Planned Parenthood can continue to provide Title X services to these women, men and teens.”

Wisconsin has also cut Planned Parenthood from its budget, following the leads of Indiana, Kansas and other states. 

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Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says the budget cuts money from the BadgerCare Family Planning Program, which aids both men and women in getting preventive health care. The Wall Street Journal reports that BadgerCare saves the state $140 million per year, according to the Department of Health.

“It is outrageous that Governor Walker would take away health care from thousands of women and families in Wisconsin,” said Cecile Richards, the president of the national Planned Parenthood organization.

And Texas will be following suit soon after, winning the “biggest state to defund Planned Parenthood” distinction:
The Texas legislature has passed an omnibus health reform bill that’s a cacophony of regressive conservative polices: 1) it establishes an illegal health care compact that would “allow Texas to partner with other states to ask the federal government for control — both fiscal and governmental — over both Medicare and Medicaid,” 2) block grants the Medicaid program, 3) prevents hospital districts that use tax revenue to finance an abortion from receiving state funding, and 4) denies funds to Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortions. If signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry (R), Texas will become the largest state to defund Planned Parenthood.

Good thing there aren’t any actual budget shortfalls or economic issues to deal with in these states, right?

Analysis Politics

Timeline: Donald Trump’s Shifting Position on Abortion Rights

Ally Boguhn

Trump’s murky position on abortion has caused an uproar this election season as conservatives grapple with a Republican nominee whose stance on the issue has varied over time. Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul's changing views on abortion.

For much of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s seemingly ever-changing position on reproductive health care and abortion rights has continued to draw scrutiny.

Trump was “totally pro-choice” in 1999, but “pro-life” by 2011. He wanted to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood in August 2015, but claimed “you can’t go around and say that” about such measures two months later. He thinks Planned Parenthood does “very good work” but wants to see it lose all of its funding as long as it offers abortion care. And, perhaps most notoriously, in late March of this year Trump took multiple stances over the course of just a few hours on whether those who have abortions should be punished if it became illegal.

With the hesitancy of anti-choice groups to fully embrace Trump—and with pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List all backing his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—it is likely his stance on abortion will remain a key election issue moving into November.

Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul’s changing views on abortion.

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News Law and Policy

Federal Judge Guts Florida GOP’s Omnibus Anti-Choice Law

Teddy Wilson

"For many people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can turn to,” said Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “We may be the only place they can go in their community, or the only place that offers the screening or birth control method they need. No one should have their basic health care taken away."

A federal judge on Thursday permanently blocked two provisions of a Florida omnibus anti-choice law that banned Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds and required annual inspections of all clinics that provide abortion services, reported the Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued an order in June to delay implementation of the law.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that a government cannot prohibit indirectly—by withholding otherwise-available public funds—conduct that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly,” Hinkle wrote in the 25-page ruling.  

Thursday’s decision came after Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration decided not to pursue further legal action to defend the law, and filed a joint motion to end the litigation.

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Hinkle issued a three page decision making the injunction permanent.

HB 1411, sponsored by Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in March.

The judge’s ruling nixed provisions in the law that banned state funding of abortion care and required yearly clinic inspections. Other provisions of the law that remain in effect include additional reporting requirements for abortion providers, redefining “third trimester,” and revising the care of fetal remains.

The GOP-backed anti-choice law has already had a damaging effect in Palm Beach County, where Planned Parenthood was forced to end a program that focused on teen dropout prevention.

Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, said in a statement that the ruling was a “victory for thousands of Floridians” who rely on the organization for reproductive health care.

“For many people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can turn to,” Zdravecky said. “We may be the only place they can go in their community, or the only place that offers the screening or birth control method they need. No one should have their basic health care taken away.”

A spokesperson for Scott told Reuters that the administration is “reviewing” the decision.

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