Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is cutting off funds for Planned Parenthood under Medicaid, the latest in a string of state moves against the organization.
The actions come in the wake of controversial undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the price of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood strongly denies wrongdoing and points to statements in the videos that what is being discussed is legal compensation for expenses, not profit.
“The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have terminated any association with the organization in Alabama,” Bentley 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.”
Bentley wrote a letter to Planned Parenthood saying the state is exercising its ability to terminate the Medicaid contract within 15 days' written notice. It gives the group 60 days to ask for a fair hearing if it disputes the move.
Nationwide, Planned Parenthood receives about 75 percent of its roughly $500 million in annual government funding from Medicaid.
Louisiana, New Hampshire and Alabama have taken defunding actions even as federal efforts have stalled for now. A Senate vote to defund the group failed on Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday looked to shift the debate away from defunding the group through a government spending bill, despite calls from some in the party to do so.