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Fla. Ends Investigation Into Planned Parenthood

December 2, 2015 — Florida officials have closed an inquiry into Planned Parenthood after finding no evidence that Planned Parenthood clinics in the state sold or bought fetal tissue, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Gretl Plessinger, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said the inquiry did not develop into a full investigation (AP/San Diego Union Tribune, 11/30).

In July, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood facilities following the release of the a series of misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue donation program (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/21). According to Laura Goodhue, executive director at the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Planned Parenthood clinics in the state are not involved in fetal tissue donation.

State officials inspected clinics in August (AP/San Diego Union Tribune, 11/30). During the investigation, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration found no fetal tissue law violations, but claimed that three of the 16 Planned Parenthood facilities in the state provided abortion care during the second trimester of pregnancy even though they were licensed only to provide abortion care in the first trimester. Goodhue said the alleged violations were the result of AHCA having modified its definition for gestational periods and that centers were in compliance with Florida law.

Planned Parenthood dropped its request for an emergency injunction after AHCA acknowledged the clinics could continue providing abortion care within 14 weeks of a woman's last menstrual period, and the clinics in August resumed providing abortion care at 12 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. However, the organization still is seeking a court order clarifying that abortions through 14 weeks of pregnancy are legal at the three clinics (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/21).