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Conservative Group Urges Scott To Defund Planned Parenthood


A Conservative Florida group wants Governor Rick Scott to de-fund the state’s planned parenthood clinics. Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger says Governor Rick Scott isn’t a true conservative if he allows state dollars to continue flowing to planned parenthood.

Florida planned parenthood clinics get funding through programs like Medicaid and federal contracts for family planning. Federal law prohibits Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or endangerment to the mother.

According to the state, only about $45,000 goes through Medicaid to planned parenthood--the rest is funneled through a federal grant for family planning. But John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, says the state should stop administering any funds for Planned Parenthood. And he wants Governor Rick Scott to immediately cut the state's ties to the organization.

“We’re asking the Governor to take an immediate executive action and do two things," Stemberger said. "One: cut and terminate Florida’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood. And two:  discontinue the subcontracts under Title X funds with Broward and Collier County.”

Stemberger says he wrote the Governor a letter about the issue last week and hasn't received a response. His organization is now launching a statewide campaign on the issue, and calls it a "litmus test" on where Scott stands.

“Whether or not you’re going to force taxpayers to fund abortion is the litmus test for whether you’re pro-life. We’re asking him to lead. We’re asking to lead on an issue other than just jobs," Stemberger said.

Other states that have cut planned parenthood dollars have received warnings the action could violate federal law. Scott ordered inspections of abortion clinics amid coverage of planned parenthood’s tissue donation practices. He has signed bills requiring ultrasounds and a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.
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