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Florida AG petitions federal judge to revive law blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds

by | Feb 23, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle to “vacate an injunction against a Florida law prohibiting state funds from going to Planned Parenthood.”

In a statement sent out Wednesday, Moody’s office said “The U.S. District Court in Tallahassee [Judge Hinkle] enjoined the law in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida vs. Joseph Ladapo, using Roe v. Wade as a deciding factor in the decision.” Since the Dobbs decision, handed down last June, “overturned Roe, the injunction is no longer supported.”

In issuing a preliminary injunction later turned into a permanent injunction, “Hinkle wrote that the 2016 law was unconstitutional, pointing to legal precedent that a ‘government cannot prohibit indirectly — by withholding otherwise-available public funds — conduct that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly,’” Jim Saunders reported.

In a seven-page motion Moody’s office asked Judge Hinkle “to vacate the injunction because the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortion,” Saunders wrote.

Specifically, according to the motion, Judge Hinkle “reasoned that the statute unconstitutionally conditions Plaintiffs’ receipt of state funds by ‘prohibit [ing] indirectly ‘abortions ‘that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly.’ Dobbs, however, makes clear that there is no constitutional right to abortion and that Supreme Court cases holding otherwise were ‘egregiously wrong from the start.’ The State may thus constitutionally prohibit abortion within its borders.”

In her Wednesday news release, Moody said that Roe v. Wade was the “deciding factor” in Hinkle’s 2016 decision.

“Now that the case at the center of the [district] court’s reasoning has been overturned, we are petitioning the court to vacate the court’s injunction and allow the will of our state’s legislative body and the people who elected them to take effect,” Moody said.

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