Governor Asa Hutchinson says organization "does not represent values of our state"
On Friday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson canceled the state’s contracts with Planned Parenthood making it the fourth state to do so after a series of videos were released showing that the federally-funded organization sells fetal tissue.
Newsweekreports that Hutchinson has ordered the state’s Department of Human Services to sever its Medicaid contract with the abortion provider, effective in 30 days.
The federal government has questioned whether the move is legal. According to an article in Al Jazeera America, federal law requires state Medicaid programs to cover family-planning services and supplies for anyone of child-bearing age. When Arizona and Indiana took steps to pass lwas excluding abortion providers from Medicaid, federal courts blocked them. New Hampshire is one of the states that has stopped funding Planned Parenthood, but its plan doesn’t involve Medicaid.
The Arkansas governor’s decision follows six videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, which show top level Planned Parenthood executives and staff admitting to selling fetal tissue and even intact fetuses. The videos sparked an outcry, to which Hutchinson referred to when he explained his decision:
“It is apparent that after 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 said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood continues to deny the accusations and is doing its best to redirect public focus on its commitment to "women’s health, " claiming that abortions make up only 3 percent of its work.