Following the release of a series of controversial and highly edited videos showing officials at Planned Parenthood centers in other states discussing the donation of tissue from abortion procedures, Gov. Rick Scott launched an investigation into Florida's 16 Planned Parenthood offices. This despite the fact that donating tissues from abortion procedures is already illegal in Florida.
And guess what? Scott's ordered investigation turned up no instances of any tissue donation at Florida's Planned Parenthood clinics.
However, the state claimed that three Planned Parenthood offices were performing second-trimester abortions without having the proper license to do so. Now, Planned Parenthood has filed suit, claiming that the state is trying to redefine what a trimester is.
The suit, filed in Leon County, claims that the Agency for Health Care Administration, the organization that carried out Scott's investigation, has long defined the first trimester as the first 14 weeks of a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood says the agency is now defining the first trimester as the first 12 weeks. Thus the second-trimester abortions the agency is accusing the clinics of performing happened between the 12th and 14th weeks.
"There is no legal basis for this change of position and it is completely contrary to the language of the rule, AHCA's previous stated position, and AHCA's own course of conduct during the past nearly ten years," reads the suit.
The suit asks a judge to place an injunction on the state barring it from taking action against the clinics.
Planned Parenthood says that after the change, it has been forced to either turn away clients or take them to other facilities that are licensed to perform second-trimester abortions.
Back in 2006, Florida passed a law requiring clinics that carry out first- and second-trimester abortions to be licensed differently. Planned Parenthood initially challenged the law but backed down after the AHCA agreed to define the first trimester as up to 14 weeks after a woman's last menstruation. Planned Parenthood says it has operated in the state under those guidelines for the past ten years with no previous controversy until now.
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