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Two more states look to defund Planned Parenthood in wake of undercover videos

AP photo

AP photo 

Two more states are looking to strip state funding from Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos that showed the organization’s executives discussing the harvesting and selling of aborted fetal body parts.

Arkansas and Utah are the latest states to target funding, piling onto the actions taken by Alabama, New Hampshire, and Louisiana earlier this month.

The Obama administration issued a warning earlier this week that this move could be against federal law, but Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that he is moving ahead.

He ordered the state’s health department to end Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, The Hill reported.

“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.

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

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

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

The Obama administration warns that they could be violating federal law by cutting off Planned Parenthood from their states’ Medicaid programs. They argue that federal law says Medicaid beneficiaries may obtain services from any qualified provider and cutting off Planned Parenthood “restricts that choice.”

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