MONTGOMERY, AL, August 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Alabama has announced it will end its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood after undercover videos showed the organization's national leaders casually discussing the harvesting and sale of body parts harvested from aborted babies.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced in a letter to Staci Fox, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, that the state is “exercising its ability to terminate the existing agreement” with the agency “with 15 days written notice.”
“The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama,” Bentley, a Republican, said in a statement. “As a doctor and Alabama’s Governor, the issue of human life, from conception to birth and beyond, is extremely important to me. I respect human life, and I do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not.”
Medicaid reimbursements account for 75 percent of Planned Parenthood's $500 million in taxpayer revenues, according to the organization. Planned Parenthood has 60 days to appeal the decision.
The move follows a similar action by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who announced he was restricting state funds from going to the abortion provider on Monday. The New Hampshire Executive Council voted to deprive Planned Parenthood of Northern New England of $650,000 in taxpayer funds yesterday. Both cited the videos in their decision.
The move also comes the same day the Alabama Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee approved a bill to make selling aborted babies' body parts a Class B felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison, under Alabama state law. The 12-1 vote sends the bill to the full state Senate.
Planned Parenthood has responded by emphasizing “our commitment to compassion and sensitivity…We are doubling our commitment to that in all ways.”
“Our care is excellent,” said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood. She stated that, in the aftermath of the videos, the public views the organization as “more favorable than any political candidate, more favorable than the president…Top of the list – Planned Parenthood.”
A total of eight states bar state funds from going to any facility that performs abortions: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Alabama state funds pay for abortion in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Planned Parenthood operates two abortion facilties in Mobile and Birmingham.