With demand down and red states limiting the amount of taxpayer monies going to fund abortion, abortion clinics are closing across the country.  Friday, Florida became another state to cut abortion funding when Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that would cut state funding to clinics that perform abortion.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Planned Parenthood and other health clinics that provide abortions in Florida will go without taxpayer funds and face increased regulations for the procedure, under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Rick Scott.

. . . . The law, which takes effect July 1, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, requires annual licensure inspections for clinics and bans the purchase, sell or transfer of fetal remains. The law upgrades the failure to properly dispose of fetal tissue from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.

Watch the report:

Needless to say, there is much disagreement about this new law.

The Orlando Sentinel continues:

Scott did not say why he signed HB 1411, which he approved with 67 other bills. But the flood of statements from pro-choice and anti-abortion groups reflected the sharp divide over the issue.

“As a result of this bill, thousands of people across Florida may no longer be able to access essential reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. “This cruel bill is designed to rip health care away from those most at risk.’’

John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, an Orlando-based social conservative advocacy group, hailed the law as protecting women’s health because he said more inspections will ensure greater quality care.

“This is a historic victory, and we are thrilled to have been an active part of this effort,” Stemberger said.

In addition to defunding clinics that perform abortions, the new law also provides a clear definition of the first trimester following findings that Florida abortion providers were performing abortions after the first trimester.

Again from the Orlando Sentinel:

Scott ordered his health agency to investigate all Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida, but Stemberger said he could go further by banning the clinics from receiving federal Medicaid funds.

Scott’s investigation didn’t find any sale of fetal tissue, but it did cite three clinics for performing abortions after the first trimester. Planned Parenthood disputed those allegations, and the case is still pending in court. A separate criminal investigation prompted by House Republicans turned up nothing.

The new law attempts to clarify that issue by defining the first trimester as 11 whole weeks after fertilization.

Florida joins at least eight other states that have defunded abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood following the release of the appalling “baby parts” videos.


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