Governor Asa Hutchinson Directs DHS To End Planned Parenthood Contract

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson directed the Department of Human Services to terminate its existing Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which covers Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, according to a release from his office.

It stated the termination will be effective 30 days from Friday (August 14).

In a statement, Hutchinson said:

“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. This includes their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.

“I appreciate the legislature’s leadership on this important issue, especially that of Senator Eddie Joe Williams and Representative David Meeks.”

The requests from lawmakers are in response to secretly recorded videos released by an anti-abortion rights group showing Planned Parenthood officials describing how they provide aborted fetus tissue for medical research.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland released the following statement regarding the governor’s directive:

“One this will never change: Planned Parenthood will do everything in our power to protect women’s access to health care in Arkansas. Our priority is and always will be providing high-quality and compassionate care to our patients.

Singling out Planned Parenthood and attempting to bar a woman’s access to our legal, constitutionally protected health care services is clearly a violation of the Medicaid statute that requires that a woman have her choice among qualified providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has warned officials in other states that it’s against the law to bar women from accessing care at Planned Parenthood because the organization provides safe, legal abortion. Similar laws have consistently been struck down.

This political grandstanding could have real and devastating consequences for women who rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and other lifesaving care. The politicians behind these reckless policies have allied themselves with extremists who will stop at nothing to end access to abortion – breaking laws, pushing misinformation, and violence and harassment of women and doctors.”

The Arkansas House of Representatives Republican Caucus released the following statement on Saturday (Aug. 15) regarding the governor’s order:

“The House Republican Caucus concurs in the decision by Governor Hutchinson to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.

The recent disclosure of the practice of marketing the body parts of unborn children is contrary to what most Arkansans believe is an acceptable practice. “The Arkansas Legislature recently passed Act 996 which prohibited direct payments to Planned Parenthood from state funds. We are pleased Governor Hutchinson has taken further steps to prevent this abhorrent practice.””

A letter from the director of Arkansas DHS to the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland states the organization can appeal the contract termination by filing a written appeal within 30 calendar days of the letter.

Medicaid funding is prohibited by law from being put toward abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

16 comments

  • Kerry Berger

    Again Asa Hutchinson has demonstrated his inability to conduct himself in a rational manner. He is only copying what fellow Republican hacks have been doing by terminating agreements with Planned Parenthood, when it has already been demonstrated with facts that the documentary was a complete fraud. Republicans act irrationally, like chickens without their heads. Their rash decisions end up hurting people who need the support of PP and other similar organizations. This kind of behavior is inconsistent with the separation of church and state that our politicians must comply with in lines with the US Constitution and its amendments. I’m disgusted at Gov. Hutchinson. He is a horrible politician and a moral midget of a leader.

  • luckybriar

    Such an overreaction, with long reaching consequences. By comparison, lots of politicians have been guilty of picking up prostitutes and having extramarital affairs on both sides of the aisle, but we don’t ban their parties on the actions of a few people. Painting something like Planned Parenthood in such broad strokes is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Also, did anyone bother to read further? Medicad pays $51,000 a year to Planned Parenthood, none of which goes towards abortions. Baby. Bathwater. Politics without an upside.

  • Brian McElhaney

    Thank you Asa Hutchinson. You have done the right! Defund these money grubbing murders! There is plenty other, much better medical assistances for women in this State, that will not rip apart a human being & sell them like pieces of animal meat! Planned Parenthood is just “Cold Hearted & Evil”! I petty them on Judgment Day! Such Savages!

  • Ramona Wolter

    Thank you Asa Hutchinson! Let these murders stop! Woman can put these children up for adoption to families that cannot have children. There is no reason for abortion! Let alone abortions that sell organs yet. This is disgusting. This country is going to the pits in so many ways. At least we can stop Planned Parenthood from doing this! Let every state, every company and every organization follow suit. There is no reason for abortions! Let Gods children live!

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