Three Planned Parenthood locations in Florida, including one in St. Petersburg, have been cited for performing unlicensed procedures and another for not properly storing records on disposing fetal remains.
The latter offense is likely to cause the most problems for facilities in the state as Planned Parenthood continues to fight back against allegations the organization had illegally sold fetal tissue and organs after completing abortions.
The controversy surfaced after an anti-abortion group released hidden camera footage of Planned Parenthood employees discussing selling fetal remains. The practice is illegal if it is profitable. However, organizations can seek reimbursement for costs like transportation. Information in the video makes it unclear whether Planned Parenthood profited from the sales.
Regardless, it’s fueled the latest push to defund the agency and prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to order inspections of 16 Planned Parenthood locations in the state.
In addition to the St. Petersburg clinic, Fort Myers and Naples locations were also cited for performing abortions in the second trimester while not having a license to do so.
“We will take immediate actions against these three facilities for performing second trimester abortions without a proper license,” AHCA spokesperson Shelisha Coleman said in a written statement Wednesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “These facilities have been notified to immediately cease performing second trimester abortions.”
Another clinic in Pembroke Pines was cited for not keeping proper records.
Some GOP lawmakers are calling on budget deals to be tied to defunding the organization, stirring fear that the issue could create another potential government shutdown.
It is already illegal to use federal dollars to provide abortions. Planned Parenthood gets around that law because abortions account for a minute percentage of the organization’s overall services. They also provide breast exams, STD screenings and treatments, pap smears, birth control and a number of other healthcare services.