After Planned Parenthood issued a detailed analysis yesterday of the misleading way videos had been edited by an anti-abortion group working undercover, I asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office whether it might affect his decision to order that Medicaid no longer reimbursed Planned Parenthood for gynecological services to poor women in Arkansas.
Hutchinson’s decision was mentioned in the Planned Parenthood release as having been made on misleading information. Additionally, the Planned Parenthood units in Arkansas don’t engage in providing fetal tissue for medical research, the flash point of the undercover videos, with the disputed assertion that Planned Parenthood illegally profits from providing the material.
I asked the governor’s office for a reaction to the assertion that the videos had been presented in a misleading fashion. A spokesman provided this response:
The callousness and choice of words used in these videos by representatives of Planned Parenthood describing their own organization’s practices are more than disturbing, regardless of edit or context. It’s impossible to excuse what was said.
I also asked if he might change his mind on Planned Parenthood funding.
The Governor’s decision has been made and will not change.
Planned Parenthood is likely to sue in Arkansas, as it has in other states, overdenial of Medicaid support for cancer screening, sexual disease screening and contraceptives. The money does not pay for the pharmaceutical abortions provided in Arkansas in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a mother. The federal Medicaid program has said states may not legally withhold the money, which provided about $50,000 in Arkansas last year.