Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to see the nation’s largest abortion chain defunded of taxpayer dollars in his state.
On Thursday, his office released a statement of support for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s effort to do just that, according to the Florida Voice. Moody asked a federal judge this week to reinstate a 2016 law that prohibits state taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that kill unborn babies in elective abortions.
“The Office of Governor Ron DeSantis is fully behind this action from the Attorney General and we support this move to fully defund Planned Parenthood from any taxpayer support,” DeSantis’s office said.
A pro-life Republican and likely presidential candidate, DeSantis also recently promised to support legislation to restrict abortions and protect babies in the womb.
“I’m willing to sign great life legislation. That’s what I’ve always said I would do,” DeSantis said when asked about a heartbeat bill.
On Wednesday, Moody’s office submitted a motion asking a federal judge in Tallahassee to unblock the defunding law because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
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“In 2016, a district court prevented the Florida Legislature from defunding abortion clinics, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe,” she said in a statement. “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.”
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.
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 nationwide in 2020.
In Florida, 82,192 unborn babies were aborted in 2022, according to state health statistics.
DeSantis has been taking action to protect unborn babies since taking office. In 2022, he signed a law to ban abortions after 15 weeks, 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.