Anti-abortion advocates were dealt another heavy blow on Friday after a federal judge blocked parts of a bill that would have put new restrictions on clinics that provide abortion-related health services. The bill, HB1411, was signed into law by Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott. The bill aimed to cut funding for health clinics that provide abortion services such as Planned Parenthood. If this bill had been allowed to remain law, it would have cost Planned Parenthood $500,000 dollars a year in funding.
It’s important to keep in mind that Florida law already prevents government funding of abortion services. That means that the relevant funding portions of the bill were not going to actually stop funding of abortion services but every other service that Planned Parenthood provides.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle put in place a last minute injunction after Planned Parenthood affiliates challenged some of some of the provisions in the bill on conditional grounds. “The state’s only beef is that the plaintiffs provide abortions,” Hinkle wrote.
According to Reuters, Hinkle based his injunction on the reasoning that “clinics were unacceptably targeted by state efforts to eliminate funding for other health care services they also provide, such as birth control and screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.”
This comes just days after the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of women’s reproductive rights. The decision in Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt has had a domino effect when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. Since Monday’s ruling, six states have had similar abortion laws struck down either permanently or temporarily. That’s a major setback to the Republican Party’s war against Planned Parenthood and women’s rights.
It’s almost laughable at this point that Republicans are trying to spin their attacks on our health care system as being an attempt to protect women, as this bill was described by its proponents.