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Arkansas, Utah target Planned Parenthood funding

Arkansas, Utah target Planned Parenthood funding
© Planned Parenthood

Arkansas and Utah are the latest states to target funding for Planned Parenthood, making five states in total trying to restrict money from the women's health group.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is moving ahead with plans to strip state funding from Planned Parenthood, defying a federal warning earlier this week that doing so could be against the law.

Hutchinson announced Friday that he has ordered the state’s health department to end Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood over concerns about the organization’s fetal tissue program.

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“It is apparent that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them,” Hutchinson wrote in a statement first reported by The Associated Press.

The move defies the Obama administration's warning earlier this week, arguing that states cannot restrict Medicaid providers.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also announced Friday that he has instructed the Utah Department of Health to stop acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to the women’s health group.

“The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling,” Herbert said in a statement. 

The governors of Louisiana, Alabama and New Hampshire have already announced state-level efforts to defund the women's health group.

Planned Parenthood clinics in Arkansas receive about $51,000 a year in Medicaid payments.

- Updated at 8:20 p.m.