Republican presidential contender and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal cut off the state flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood on Monday in the wake of undercover videos outlining the alleged sale of baby body parts.
On Monday, the Jindal administration announced that it had cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast. The state Department of Health and Hospitals will no longer send money to the local chapter of the nation’s largest abortionist.
"It has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state," Jindal said in a release.
Planned Parenthood state director Melissa Flournoy said that defunding the group would hurt access to medical care.
"Over the last year, the Office of Public Health has drastically cut funding and is already unable to meet the health care needs of those who are most vulnerable. Furthering this problem by eliminating a trusted and high-quality provider will jeopardize health care for women and men across Louisiana," she said in a release.
The decision followed the release of four videos in which top doctors from Planned Parenthood discussed altering abortion techniques to better harvest organs and possibly profit from the sale of organs on a "per item" basis. Both of those practices documented by the non-profit Center for Medical Progresswould run afoul federal law, leading to three investigations from congressional committees.
Louisiana was undergoing an expansion of Planned Parenthood operations in the state with a multi-million facility being considered in New Orleans when the first video was released in July. There are seven abortion clinics in the state, and the abortion rate has plummeted during Jindal’s tenure, falling nearly 20 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
Jindal has reacted forcefully to the scandal, announcing a statewide investigation of the organization after the first video surfaced showing Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood, discuss how local clinics look to "do better than break even" on the sale of "heart, lung, and liver."
"This same organization is seeking to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans. I have instructed Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct an immediate investigation into this alleged evil and illegal activity and to not issue any licenses until this investigation is complete. I am also asking the FBI to assist DHH in investigating this alleged criminal activity by this organization," Jindal said at the time.
Jindal is not the only GOP presidential hopeful to go after Planned Parenthood. Former Gov. Rick Perry defunded the organization in Texas and also signed clinic safety bills that closed some clinics during his three terms in office. He is now calling on congress to not only defund Planned Parenthood but revoke the billion dollar organization’s non-profit status.
"We can no longer allow the atrocities committed by an organization that receives state and federal tax dollars, and that receives special tax treatment from the federal government. That is why today, I am calling for the revocation of the federal nonprofit charters of the Planned Parenthood Federation Of America and its political wing, Planned Parenthood Action," Perry said in a Friday release. "The Obama Administration targets groups with the word ‘patriot’ in their name but does nothing to an organization that cuts apart and sells the body parts of dead babies. This cannot stand. It is long past time for the mirage around Planned Parenthood’s true activities to fade."
Democrats have begun to circle the wagons around Planned Parenthood as congressional Republicans look to pass a bill defunding the organization. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who had previously called the organ harvesting imagery "disturbing," released a video defending Planned Parenthood on Monday.
"Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new," Clinton said in the two-minute attack ad.
Lawmakers will vote on the federal defunding bill Monday evening. Jindal’s actions will take effect in 30 days.