BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 3 (UPI) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal cut state Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood on Monday because recent videos of employees appearing to discuss the sale of fetuses from abortions “does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana.”
The Republican presidential candidate said he and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals gave Planned Parenthood 30 days notice that the state is withdrawing what amounts to about 75 percent of the organizations’ funding, The Hill reported.
The funding cutoff is the direct result of the release of multiple videos of Planned Parenthood workers appearing talk to potential buyers about the sale of specimens obtained during abortions. Jindal said the DHH has started an investigation of the organization and called on the FBI and the Louisiana Inspector General to assist.
“In recent weeks, 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 statement.
Some Republicans, including several in Congress, have called on Planned Parenthood to be stripped of federal funding in the wake of the controversial videos.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said the American people “are horrified by the utter lack of compassion showed” in the videos. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the organization should be stripped of federal funding even at the expense of a government shutdown.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the videos “disturbing” but said calls to strip funding were “a full-on assault on women’s health.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., echoed her comments.
“The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies,” he said. “Let’s be clear: Federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortions. The vast majority of government funding that Planned Parenthood receives is through Medicaid reimbursements.”