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Hutchinson Looking at Planned Parenthood Defunding

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LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson is looking into whether Arkansas can end its Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, a move that federal health officials have told other states could violate the law.

Hutchinson told reporters Friday he’s reviewing a request from lawmakers that Arkansas terminate its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood. The requests are in response to secretly recorded videos released by an anti-abortion rights group showing Planned Parenthood officials describing how they provide aborted fetus tissue for medical research.

Alabama and Louisiana earlier this month announced they were ending Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, prompting warnings from the federal government.

Planned Parenthood received more than $51,000 in Medicaid payments in Arkansas over the past fiscal year for family planning and gynecological services. None of the money went toward abortions.

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