Beliefs Ethics Institutions Politics

Arkansas governor cuts state contracts with Planned Parenthood

The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston. The organization's leader defended it before Congress on Sept. 29, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters.
The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Dominick Reuter *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-PLANNED-PARENTHOOD, originally transmitted on July 16, 2015.

The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Dominick Reuter *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-PLANNED-PARENTHOOD, originally transmitted on July 16, 2015.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Friday canceled the state’s contracts with Planned Parenthood, making his the third Southern state to do so since anti-abortion activists released a series of videos that they say suggests the organization sells fetal tissue.

“It is apparent that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them,” Hutchinson, a Republican, said in a statement.

The move comes after the U.S. government has warned states moving to defund women’s health group Planned Parenthood that they may be in conflict with federal law.

Planned Parenthood has come under massive criticism from Republicans and been investigated by several Republican-controlled states after the release of the videos by an anti-abortion activist group called the Center for Medical Progress.

The Arkansas contracts involved services including nurse practitioners, pharmacy and family planning and were delivered through the Arkansas Medicaid program. No state funds were used for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or when the life of the mother was at stake.

Several conservative state legislators had urged Hutchinson to end all state payments to Planned Parenthood, citing the videos.

Federal law requires state Medicaid programs to cover family-planning services and supplies for anyone of child-bearing age. Ending the agreements with Planned Parenthood would limit beneficiaries’ access to care and services from qualified providers of their choice, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Alabama and Louisiana, which have also sought to end their agreements with Planned Parenthood, were cautioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that their actions could put them afoul of federal regulations which make any qualified provider eligible to participate in the program.

Planned Parenthood, which provides healthcare services to millions of women at hundreds of centers nationwide, has denied any wrongdoing. The organization also says abortions make up 3 percent of its work.

(Editing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by David Gregorio)

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  • Well good for Arkansas! Since our federal wimp-resentatives were afraid to do anything, it is solid governors like Hutchinson who must clean up the mess. My only hope is that he takes the money that was previously given to PP, and reallocates it to more noble women’s clinics.

  • What is a more noble women’s clinic, one that limits women’s rights to what you want them to be? Abortion is legal. Donating fetal tissue is legal. Blunt discussions between medical professionals are legal. What exactly is your problem?

    Medical professionals are called on to do seemingly brutal and horrific things every day, and patients would find many of their private discussions cold, cavalier and vomit-worthy. Does that make them amoral people? Does that make what they do immoral? People need to grow up. We should be THANKFUL for these medical professionals. The amoral people are those who secretly record such conversations, manipulate them, and use them to inflame and push a fringe social agenda.

  • The article seems to say that the recipient gets to choose, from a list of federally approved providers, where she will receive the services. Planned Parenthood is a legal provider. Isn’t this just one more case of a government restricting a woman’s rights?

  • This whole thread is amazing. As a culture we really are in a moral freefall. Discussing the legalities of body parts but throwing aside those persons from which the body parts came from like so much garbage. I THOUGHT that our Declaration of Independence (our spiritual foundation document that OUGHT to go hand in hand with the Constitution but alas, doesn’t) said that every one of us have an inalienable right to life. Hasn’t medical science concluded something that we’ve really known all along that life begins at conception? But here we are bantering about whether the butchers are amoral. Really? Jesus has some very stern warnings about offending little ones. Something about being drowned in the depths of the sea. For you who think that abortion is OK, how will you answer Him on the day you face Him?

  • PP is, quite honestly, the kinder gentler KKK. They are exactly what Margaret Sanger founded them to be — a eugenic means of mowing down those people who Sanger considered to be “human weeds.”

    So it’s good to see Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana cutting ties to racist organizations, especially those who do garage sales on body parts after they’re done mowing.

    But Barack Obama supports Planned Parenthood, even though he knows the evil that PP has done to minority babies and minority women. He knows that PP in four states got caught expressing willingness to accept donations targeted at black babies.

    And yet Barack Obama even THREATENS any states that try to cut financial ties with PP, as if PP is now officially part of the United States Government.

    Therefore Obama will NEVER be my President, and I will never use that word again to describe him. Obama is a confused mess.

    If Barack Obama was genuinely a black man, he would do the same.

  • I apologize for my last sentence, it is not clear. It should read:

    “If Barack Obama was genuinely a black man, he would do the same as Arkansas, and cut the government’s financial ties with PP.”

  • How is this restricting women’s rights? Women can go anywhere they choose. And of course pay for the so-called service. The only issue here is where do we want our federal tax dollars going? To kill little babies? And then make a mockery out of it as PP workers have done and were caught on video doing? I don’t think so.

  • It’s funny how the emotions of the SC Justices mean more to their rulings than the Constitution. In years past we’d hear about how the Declaration of Independence was not a legal document by which the Court could decide cases; now, however, emotion reigns Supreme.

  • The blood thirst doesn’t stop. Now that its obvious that this has nothing to do with so called “womens rghts” and everything to do with the mighty dollar, some still want to see the destruction of helpless innocent babies to continue. “Planned murderhood” is pure EVIL. Those who support it are supporting EVIL. Repent. Turn away from sin and rebellion and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and do right. Stop advancing EVIL and do good. We will all give an account to the One who brings about life one day. Are you ready for that day?.

  • Too bad that is one of many outright lies that the anti-abortion crowd likes to throw around.

    Planned Parenthood clinics were racially integrated when no other clinics for women were. The racism myth comes from deliberate misquoting her words to black ministers.

    And the PP wasn’t trying to destroy black populations but addressing a portion of the population NOTORIOUS for high incidence of unplanned pregnancy, lack of access to contraception

    Martin Luther King even honored Sanger and Planned Parenthood
    “we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern.”

  • “Spiritual foundation document” WTH is that supposed to mean?

    I guess you are trying to spread the oft told lie that the US is a “Christian Nation” and fundamentalist Christians are supposed to have greater rights than anyone else.

    “that OUGHT to go hand in hand with the Constitution but alas, doesn’t”

    So you have trouble with civil liberties, more importantly, religious freedom as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment..

    As for Greg1’s response, its funny how quick Christian fundamentalists are so quick to dismiss the Supreme Court without ever bothering to read/understand how they rule. in your blithering ignorance, you ascribe rulings to emotion as opposed to upholding Constitutional principles. Not that you have any appreciation of what those are.

  • You need to understand that I and many others do not care what you say your version of your god says or thinks. Try logic.

  • Sorry Larry, but it’s you not me who is mentioning what Margaret Sanger said about black ministers. I only mentioned her “human weeds” comment. But since you brought it up, let’s show Sanger’s OTHER statement to the readers:

    “We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their **more rebellious** members.”

    That is a very damaging, racist statement, so PP’s liberal defenders usually try to do damage control and say it’s a “misquotation.”

    The problem with THAT claim, is the two words I’ve highlighted. Just like the KKK, Margaret Sanger, a low-key supporter of eugenics, seriously did not like “rebellious” Negroes.

    She wanted to have their concern about extermination, “straightened out” by compliant Negro ministers, so that she could do her old PP magic on the Negro women — including messing them up WITHOUT their consent.

  • Always it’s about the money. Why don’t you just say that up front instead of all the criticism about PP?

  • Tom, when I pay my federal taxes, I don’t expect the bloated beast to be involved with snuffing out the youngest, and most vulnerable people on this planet.

  • How about all of the money that the Christian Right uses to oppose PP, contraception, responsible sex education, and abortion– and lets throw in opposing the full participation of gay people in society– goes instead to providing alternatives to abortion, financial help for families that cannot afford another child, and responsible contraception and family planning as a means to prevent abortion?

    Then and only then, can you complain about the alleged evil of those who support a woman’s right to choose. Until that point, you are just part of the problem.

  • Maybe to Democrats and liberals unborn or newly born babies are nothing but fringe worthy of being trimmed from life to suit the agenda of PP to help their bosses get new Lamborginis.
    Every time I read of anyone fanatically supporting PP I wonder how many favors of quiet abortions were done for the PP fan to keep wives or family members from finding out. After all there is no reason for the adamant pro–PP attitude of some other than for favors secretly rendered.
    For there are plenty of other organizations capable of doing the same work.

  • Too bad your quote is about avoiding misconstruing and misinterpreting family planning efforts into some form of genocidal intent. But if you had read the entire speech you would have known that. Instead you deliberately truncate the important parts in order to spread a well known lie. The intention was to say, we want people to be informed about our efforts and not claim they are not some effort to wipe out blacks.

    The refutation of your oft told lie is in the link below

    Lying is so common with the anti-abortion crowd that it is a second language to them.

  • I support a woman’s right to choose, which is the law. I also support abortion services, since without them, women do not actually have a choice. It’s very simple. Tell me, how do the “plenty of other organizations capable of doing the same work” differ from Planned Parenthood?

  • The Hyde Amendment; that is pretty humorous. Let’s see, the federal government gives ten dollars to PP, and then PP takes those ten dollars and uses it to cover normal expenses, then the ten dollars that used to cover normal expenses, is spent on abortions. I do think I have more than half a brain. No PP needs to be stripped of every cent of federal funding. They are an evil organization.

  • No one is limiting a woman’s rights, you can have an abortion all day long if you choose, but as a tax payer I should not have to pay for it. If you force me to pay for something that violates my religious beliefs then my rights are being violated not the person having an abortion. State funded abortion should not happen. Abortion is legal and woman who choose to have unprotected sex can pay for their own abortions and their own contraception. As far as the videos go, I am a nurse so understand your point but people should know the truth. Not paying for something does’t mean you can’t have the service, it just means you can pay for it yourself. If you don’t like that, then you should start a charity that funds plan parenthood. That way people who want woman’s abortions to be paid for can donate to the cause freely and willingly. Try a go fund me page…just a suggestion.

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