Last week a Florida district court judge issued a permanent block on two provisions that would have prohibited Planned Parenthood from receiving state or local funding, and would have forced all women’s health organizations that offer abortion services to undergo annual clinic inspections.
The provisions were signed into law in March by Republican Governor Rick Scott, who has chosen not to challenge Judge Hinkle’s decision.
It is already illegal for state funding to be used for abortion services in Florida, but the law sought to take that restriction a step further by blocking funding for the other services administered through Planned Parenthood clinics. The half a million dollars in funding that Planned Parenthood would have been deprived of currently goes to preventative health care screenings and running programs aimed at lowering high school dropout rates.
The law was temporarily blocked in June by Judge Hinkle, who stated, “”The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that a government cannot prohibit indirectly — by withholding otherwise-available public funds — conduct that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly.”