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Cecile Richards

States of Denial: N.H. and Fla. Hit Back at Planned Parenthood


There may be a recess for Congress, but there’s no recess from Planned Parenthood’s problems.

While the Senate scatters for vacation, the states are keeping the heat on Cecile Richards’s group. With a fifth video released this week — one of the most disturbing yet — local leaders have no intentions of letting Planned Parenthood off the hook. For Richards’s organ harvesters, the month has gone from bad to worse.

Yesterday’s double-whammy was a significant one in two states, where both Florida and New Hampshire took steps to severely limit Planned Parenthood’s work. As part of Governor Rick Scott’s (R) investigations, health officials found plenty of evidence of wrongdoing in the Sunshine State, where three of Richards’s centers were ordered to stop performing second-trimester abortions. In every instance, the clinics were caught without licensing — and one wasn’t keeping legal logs on the babies’ remains.

For now, the offices’ activities have been restricted, with the possibility of even stronger punishment to come. In one of the greatest ironies, Florida inspectors reminded the group who claims to care about women’s health that “licenses are in place to protect the patient from unscrupulous operators…” During a surprise visit to the St. Petersburg and Ft. Myers facilities, the state found almost a year’s worth of violations. Each one, the Wall Street Journal points out, carries at least a $500 fine. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood will have to hurry to put together a “correction plan,” which the state is demanding in 10 days.

Up north, the news was just as bleak for the President’s favorite “nonprofit.” In the first of hopefully several such votes, the New Hampshire Executive Council cancelled its Planned Parenthood contracts, worth $639,000. That’s bound to hurt, especially since Richards’s group had been enjoying two-thirds of the state’s “family planning” money. “You can’t divorce what’s going on nationally from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and we need a real investigation,” said GOP Councilor David Wheeler, who voted with three others to sever ties. Interestingly enough, the state itself never opened a formal probe into local Planned Parenthoods. “We do not launch investigations in New Hampshire on rumor” was Governor Maggie Hassan’s (D) flippant response.

Republican Chris Sununu, who had previously supported the state’s partnership with Planned Parenthood, sided with conservatives. Like a growing number of abortion supporters, he believes there are better alternatives for New Hampshire than an organization so callously removed from reality. “Things are different now,” he explained. “We have to take a step back and just take a pause and say, ‘Is this a company and a business that we should be actively engaging?'” Congress will have four weeks to ask themselves the same question. Let’s hope they come back with the same answer.


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