Court Forces Utah to Fund Planned Parenthood Even After It Sells Aborted Baby Parts

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 31, 2015   |   12:19PM   |   Salt Lake City, UT

A federal court temporarily thwarted Utah’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood on Wednesday amid outrage about the abortion giant selling aborted babies’ body parts.

The disappointing decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court reverses a federal judge’s ruling last week that gave Utah Gov. Gary Herbert the ok to take away taxpayer funding from the abortion group, The Hill reports. The court’s temporary injunction will remain in place until it hears the challenge by Planned Parenthood’s Utah affiliate, according to the report.

Despite the temporary setback, Herbert spokesman Jon Cox said in a statement on Wednesday that they hope to achieve a victory in the end.

“The governor is confident that once the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has the opportunity to look closely at the legal issues in this case, like Judge Waddoups, they will reach the same decision and agree that it is contrary to the public’s best interest to remove the governor’s discretion to make contract decisions on behalf of the state,” he said.

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The Utah abortion affiliate receives about $275,000 in taxpayer funding each year. Herbert previously said he plans to redirect the funding to community health providers “to provide the same kind of health care to women that Planned Parenthood was doing” – without funding abortions.

“If anything, we’ll have additional access points, more access points, better access to women’s health, so the idea that this is somehow going to harm women is fallacious,” Herbert told KSL Newsradio.

As the lawsuit continues, Utah legislators also are working to ensure that taxpayer dollars won’t go to the abortion giant. State Sen. Margaret Dayton said she is drafting a bill to block taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that promote or provide abortions, LifeNews previously reported.

State officials said they want to de-fund the abortion giant because of a series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showing top Planned Parenthood officials discussing harvesting and trafficking aborted babies’ body parts.

Herbert previously told the AP that he was offended by the “casualness” and callousness” of the abortion giant’s top officials as they discussed crushing unborn babies’ bodies and haggling over the price of their body parts in the undercover videos.

Polling shows wide distrust of the abortion giant among Utahans. An August poll conducted by Jones and Associates found that 56% of Utahans view Planned Parenthood in a negative light, while only 37% view them favorably. The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that the poll surveyed 500 adults in the state. Additionally, the survey found that most do not support using fetal “tissue” for research.

Utah was the fifth state to de-fund Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos exposing their organ harvesting business. Other states’ efforts to de-fund the abortion giant also have been challenged.

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