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Get Government Out of the Abortion Business, Say Indiana, Florida GOP

ISIS prepares to behead Egyptian Christians along the Libyan coast in February 2015. (ISIS video)

“Periods for Pence” became “Testicular Testimonies” in April before Planned Parenthood and ACLU lawyers took over and filed a court challenge to the Indiana abortion law Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed in March that inflamed the pro-choice crowd.

Meanwhile in Florida, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are teaming up for another court battle over a new abortion law that Republican Gov. Rick Scott also signed into law in March.

The Indiana abortion law, also known as HEA 1337, bans abortions for reasons like evidence the baby would be born with Down syndrome, or if the race or gender of the child would not be to the parents’ liking.

In Florida, right-to-life advocates are celebrating new legislation that cuts state funding to clinics that perform abortions. Planned Parenthood claimed that would actually end all birth control services, cancer screenings and tests for diseases along with abortions for poor women in Florida.

The Florida law also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals close to the clinics, or for the clinics to have agreements with hospitals to admit patients for whom the abortion goes badly.

Kim Saylor was one of the thousands of people who turned out for rallies against HEA 1337 in Indiana. She is also supporting Periods for Pence, a movement that encouraged women to email and text Gov. Pence all the latest updates on their menstrual cycles.

The next step, which seems obvious to her, would be to have men delivering testicular testimonies about their most private parts to Pence and Sen. Liz Brown (R), who sponsored SEA 1337, the Senate version of the legislation.

“It’s simply unfair to think that the Legislature would neglect to regulate the reproductive systems of men while placing loads of burdensome regulations on Hoosier women. Why should men be left out?” Saylor told WIBC-FM in Indianapolis.

ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar said the legislation was an insult to women not just in Indiana, but across the country. She also argued HEA 1337 would “demean women and threaten the quality of their healthcare.”

The ACLU filed suit April 7 on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

“This law is clearly another attempt by the governor to end access to safe, legal abortions by imposing more unnecessary and unconstitutional restrictions on women, our healthcare centers and our staff,” said Betty Cockrum, CEO and president of PPINK. “The law limits women’s rights and shames them during this difficult decision by calling their motives into question.”

Opposition to HEA 1337 isn’t just coming from the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

“These ‘reason bans’ represent gross interference in the patient-physician relationship, creating a system in which patients and physicians are forced to withhold information or outright lie in order to ensure access to care,” said Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Indiana Right to Life doesn’t refer to the legislation as anything as bureaucratic as HEA 1337. It prefers the name given to the bill by its sponsor, Sen. Brown: Dignity for the Unborn.

Mike Fichter, the president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, said the Planned Parenthood lawsuit came as no surprise to his organization. He’s heard it all before.

“This is the same song and dance we have seen from the abortion provider anytime they feel their lucrative abortion business is threatened,” Richter said. “They look to the courts and activist judges to rule in their favor. Planned Parenthood boasts $2 million a year in abortion revenue in Indiana alone.”

Besides the overarching emotional issue of the ability of a woman to get an abortion, money has its place in the debate in Florida over HB 1411.

Planned Parenthood claimed the organization will lose $500,000 in government funding because of the legislation. Gov. Scott said Planned Parenthood would actually see a drop of closer to $114,000 when the law takes effect July 1.

But as in Indiana, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Inc., contended this is about more than the issue of abortion.

“Because the legislation is broadly written, Planned Parenthood will also lose access to reimbursements from local government entities and federal funding from the Title X program that is contracted through local county Health Departments,” said a statement from the FAPPA.

The money trimmed from organizations, like Planned Parenthood, would be redirected to other clinics that provide healthcare for women and their families without doing abortions.

The FAPPA said similar legislation that cuts state funding for abortion providers in Indiana and Texas shows that when women can’t get to their clinic or doctor of choice, they just don’t seek out any medical care.

But to Florida Sen. Aaron Bean (R), this is all about abortions and nothing else.

“We pay their light bill, we pay their salaries, we pay all kinds of things when the state contracts with these clinics,” Bean said. “Let’s get Florida out of the abortion business.”