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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Antiabortion group plans Dec. 7 rally at the Capitol



An antiabortion group is planning a rally at the Florida Capitol next month to demand that Gov. Rick Scott end state Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.

The rally at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 is part of a campaign being run by the Florida Family Policy Council that has called out the governor for not taking a harsh enough stance against Planned Parenthood in response to videos of the organization's fetal tissue donation programs that have sirred outrage among conservatives.

"In both his gubernatorial campaigns, Rick Scott campaigned that if elected he would be a pro-life Governor," the Council's President John Stemberger said in a written statement. "We would now like him to take action like a pro-life Governor. The pro-life and pro-family community that supported the governor in the last two election must have their voices heard on the urgency of this matter, and we hope this rally will finally force the governor to listen.”

The group plans to bus activists up to Tallahassee from Orlando and Miami.

But the governor's office does not intend to cancel the contracts, which require the state to pay out a small amount to match federal Medicaid funds. In total, they cost the state $45,000.

Asked last month if the governor had any interest in or plans to stop the matching funds, Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz replied, simply, "No."

Schutz said this week that the governor hasn't changed his stance.

Scott has taken a harsh stance against Planned Parenthood since July, when the videos first went viral online. He ordered investigations of the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, and his office was involved in sanctions ordered by AHCA.

A lawsuit is ongoing over allegations that Planned Parenthood in Florida performed unlicensed procedures.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 1:20pm]


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