A federal appeals court ordered Utah to keep pouring tax dollars into Planned Parenthood after the Governor cut the funds last summer. The decision is a temporary attempt called a preliminary injunction to unlock funding while the two sides will continue their debate in court.
The decision, which was taken on a 2-1 vote, reads that the Governor’s order violates the abortion group’s free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution as well as its right to do business with women seeking abortions.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups was ordered Tuesday by the federal court to issue the preliminary injunction this week. The group said that it will not stop until it wins a permanent injunction.
The latest decision extends a December ruling from the same court to delay the defunding.
Last summer, Utah voted to steer taxpayer money away from the abortion giant. The move was spurred by a series of undercover footage showing Planned Parenthood representatives negotiating the price of various baby parts referred to as „fetal tissue” in the videos. Four other states voted to defund the group shortly after the videos were released.
Utah prevented about $250,000 from reaching the organization’s bank accounts. So, Planned Parenthood was upset with the decision and challenged it in a federal appeals court. In December, a day before funding was about to expire, the 10th Circuit Court ordered an injunction to keep the money flowing. Back the, judge Waddoups declined to comply with the decision.
Governor Gary Herbert’s office said that the governor was displeased with the latest ruling, so he has plans to collaborate with Utah’s Attorney General on what to do next.
Planned Parenthood said that the latest ruling was a “major victory” for the group’s collaborators and patients statewide.
The governor order blocked funds that the company planned to use for its sex education programs and STD testing initiative. The U.S. government gives PP $528 million in tax funding every year, but federal money cannot be used to fund abortions.
Last year, Utah lawmakers were appalled by the group’s grisly business techniques to sell aborted fetal tissue. But ever since the group denied any wrongdoing by saying that the undercover videos were fake.
Judge Mary Beck Briscoe who ruled for the injunction argued in the decision that Gov. Herbert used defunding as a political tool to punish the group and prevent it from delivering abortion services across the state.