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Four Planned Parenthood locations cited for violations in Florida probe

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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