Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida on Thursday after it passed a law in March to defund the abortion business.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida receive $200,000 in taxpayer Medicaid funds annually. The law in question, signed by Governor Rick Scott on March 25, redirects Planned Parenthood’s funding toward the state’s comprehensive health centers, which do not do abortions.
Planned Parenthood’s lawyers argue in the lawsuit that it is unconstitutional for the state to prohibit funding from specific providers. They also contest the revised definitions of pregnancy trimesters, claiming that the new definitions are medically invalid, according to the Bradenton Herald. The lawsuit names the heads of the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Lillian Tamayo, Planned Parenthood CEO of South, East and North Florida, claims that the law prevents access to basic health care services in an attempt to stop abortion. Her statement was posted on Planned Parenthood’s website.
“If you need a cervical cancer screening, lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, to get the care you need,” Tamayo said. “Florida politicians will stop at nothing to ban abortion, and they’re willing to decimate access to preventive care in the process.”
Despite these assertions, evidence shows that Planned Parenthood isn’t providing the many services it claims to. LifeNews previously reported on Planned Parenthood’s decrease in non-abortion services:
The reality is that Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services have been declining rapidly, according to its own annual reports. Between 2009 and 2014, Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings and breast exams/breast care dropped by more than half, according to its annual reports. “Cancer screenings” fell from 1,830,811 to just 682,208 in that same period of time. “Breast exams/breast care” fell by more than half, from 830,312 in 2009 to 363,803 in 2014 and Pap smear tests dropped nearly two-thirds, from 904,820 to 271,539.
Despite the pushback the Florida law has received from Planned Parenthood and its supporters, many are in favor of the law. State Senator Kelli Stargel, who sponsored the bill, explains it would protect the quality of women’s health care.
“It is not a bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose…It’s getting the same level of care that she would have if she walked into any other clinic,” Stargel said.
Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops explains the benefits of the new regulations outlined in the bill: “Abortionists will finally be held to the same standard as all other physicians who perform invasive procedures in a non-hospital setting by the requirement to have admitting privileges or a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. It is incomprehensible that opponents suggest the bill makes women less safe.”
Planned Parenthood is asking the Tallahassee U.S. District Court to rule the bill unconstitutional and to stop the law from going into effect on its scheduled date of July 1, according to the report.
Mara Gambineri, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, told the newspaper that the Department is currently reviewing the lawsuit.