The Florida Attorney General filed arguments this week challenging a judge’s decision to block a state law that would take away tax dollars from abortion groups, CBS Miami reports.
The Florida law would strip about half a million dollars in taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and require more rigorous state inspections of abortion clinics. This spring, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the legislation, arguing that it is unconstitutional.
On June 30, just one day before the legislation was scheduled to go into effect, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle granted Planned Parenthood’s request to temporarily block the law, according to the Associated Press.
Now, the state is fighting back in defense of the law. On Monday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi responded to the judge’s decision in a new court document and disputed Planned Parenthood’s arguments.
Here’s more from the CBS report:
In the preliminary injunction, Hinkle ruled against the state on parts of the law that would bar abortion providers from receiving public funds for other services and require a dramatic increase in inspections of abortion records by health officials.
Bondi’s office took issue with arguments that the law would be “invasive” and treat abortion providers different from other health-care facilities because it would require the state Agency for Health Care Administration to inspect half of abortion patients’ records each year.
“Defendants (state officials) admit that other health care facilities and providers regulated by AHCA are not subject to a statutory requirement that 50 percent of patient records be reviewed, but further state that they are subject to being reviewed to whatever extent AHCA deems appropriate,” the document said.
The law would strip the abortion business Planned Parenthood of about $500,000 in taxpayer dollars each year, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The Florida legislation would redirect the tax dollars to other non-abortion community health centers, ensuring that women and their families will have access to basic health services. A report about community health centers indicates that these comprehensive health care facilities outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by 20 to one across the U.S. In Florida specifically, the 2015 report shows 636 federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics, compared to 23 Planned Parenthood facilities.
When the legislation passed in March, state Sen. Kelli Stargel, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation is meant to ensure women receive quality 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.
Like many other pieces of legislation introduced across the U.S. in recent months, the legislation came in response to a series of undercover videos showing evidence of the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies’ body parts.