Florida Attorney General Wants to Defund Planned Parenthood

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 23, 2023   |   1:23PM   |   Tallahassee, Florida

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody asked a judge Wednesday to unblock a state law that bans taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities, pointing to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Passed in 2016, the law prohibits state and local taxpayer funding to abortion facilities and their affiliates. However, Planned Parenthood sued, and a federal judge in Tallahassee blocked the law.

“In 2016, a district court prevented the Florida Legislature from defunding abortion clinics, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe,” Moody said in a statement Wednesday. “Now that the case at the center of the court’s reasoning has been overturned, we are petitioning the court to vacate the court’s injunction and allow the will of our state’s legislative body and the people who elected them to take effect.”

She said the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling in June changed the situation, and Florida should be allowed to decide how to use its own tax dollars.

The Dobbs ruling “makes clear that there is no constitutional right to abortion and that Supreme Court cases holding otherwise were ‘egregiously wrong from the start,’” Moody’s office wrote in the motion. “The State may thus constitutionally prohibit abortion within its borders.”

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It is not clear how many state tax dollars go to abortion facilities every year, but Planned Parenthood estimated in its 2016 lawsuit that it would lose about $500,000, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The abortion chain quickly decried Moody’s action this week, calling it an “attack” on health care, WTSP News 10 Tampa Bay reports.

“Thousands of Floridians with low incomes turn to Planned Parenthood health centers for essential preventive care like STI testing and treatment, cancer screening and birth control,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement to the news outlet. “Now, the state is jeopardizing Floridians’ health by blocking Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida from receiving funding for these services.”

However, if the law goes into effect, it would not cut taxpayer funding for healthcare. Instead, it would direct that money to clinics that offer real medical care and not elective abortions that kill unborn babies.

Many of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services have been declining rapidly over the past decade, according to its own annual reports. Meanwhile, its abortion numbers have been steadily increasing, and Planned Parenthood reported a record 383,460 abortions in 2020.

In Florida, 74,868 unborn babies were aborted in 2020, according to state health statistics.

But voters elected more pro-life Republicans to office this year, and they are working to protect unborn babies and mothers. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law to ban abortions after 15 weeks in 2022, and he recently promised to support even stronger protections for babies in the womb.

His administration also shut down a Pensacola abortion facility last year after state health inspectors said it nearly killed three women in botched abortions within a span of nine months.