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Governor Bentley responds to potential federal health law violations with Planned Parenthood during Republican club meeting

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley visited the Madison County Republican Men’s meeting on Saturday afternoon, just days after federal health officials said he violated federal laws by cutting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood in the state.

“I will not let Alabama taxpayer money fund an organization that talks about on tape, gently crushing the heads of an unborn baby and selling their body parts,” Governor Bentley said.

That’s the statement that brought the crowd to their feet at the meeting, but this favorable reaction comes after scrutiny following the governor’s decision to terminate the agreement between the Alabama Medicaid Agency and Planned Parenthood.

“In Alabama, we’re not going to use taxpayer dollars to support an organization like Planned Parenthood that does things like that,” Bentley said. “We’re just not going to do it.”

Bentley’s feelings towards the federal agency that offers medical care, contraceptives and abortions to women are clear.

“I just will never support an organization that talks about gently crushing the heads of an unborn child,” Bentley said. “Then to do that in order to preserve the organs so that they can sell the organs; I cannot think of anything more barbaric than that.”

Federal health officials said Bentley acted outside of his authority when cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, but he said he’s within his rights.

“I cancelled the contract, the legal contract said that either I could cancel it given 15 days notice or they could cancel it given 15 days notice so we’re not doing anything illegal regardless of what the federal government says,” Bentley said.

Bentley did not offer a clear alternative to women but acknowledges their health is important.

“We need to make sure we do everything to make sure that women have the health care that they need, contraception that they need, I mean I’m all for that,” Bentley said.

Planned Parenthood now has 60 days to request a hearing on the termination of the contract.

Planned Parenthood has come under attack after videos, which some say are edited, were released that appear to show staffers discussing organ and tissue donation from aborted fetuses.

Eric Ferroro, Vice-President of Communications from Planned Parenthood, issued this statement regarding the videos in July.

“A well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.” – See more at: