Arkansas governor urges DHS to break away from Planned Parenthood chapter

Arkansas governor urges DHS to break away from Planned Parenthood chapter

LITTLE ROCK (KAIT/AP) - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson directed the Arkansas Department of Human Services to end a Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, the governor's office released Friday.

According to the release, Hutchinson stated that the organization does not represent Arkansans.

"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. This includes their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma," the release stated. "I appreciate the legislature's leadership on this important issue, especially that of Senator Eddie Joe Williams and Representative David Meeks."

Planned Parenthood has 30 days to appeal the decision.

The news comes after Hutchinson told reporters Friday that he looked to see whether the state needed to end Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.

According to the Associated Press, Hutchinson's requests are in response to secretly recorded videos released by an anti-abortion rights group showing Planned Parenthood officials describing how they provide aborted fetus tissue for medical research.

Alabama and Louisiana earlier this month announced they were ending Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, prompting warnings from the federal government.

Planned Parenthood received more than $51,000 in Medicaid payments in Arkansas over the past fiscal year for family planning and gynecological services. None of the money went toward abortions.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android