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Democrats Call on Gov. Herbert to Reverse Planned Parenthood Decision

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Democratic Representative Angela Romero is one of the House members calling on Governor Herbert to change his decision on Planned Parenthood funding.

Democrats in the Utah House of Representatives are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to reverse his decision to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, but the governor is not standing down.

The governor attempted to withhold 275,000 dollars in federal funding for STD testing and education programs to Planned Parenthood last year. It was a response to the release of controversial videos concerning the sale of fetal tissue. But a Texas grand jury investigation into those videos has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and instead indicted leaders of the group responsible for the videos. Democratic Representative Angela Romero says given this new information, the governor should reconsider his decision.

“Planned Parenthood has been vindicated,” Romero says. “I think it’s important that we look at the facts. The decision was made off of a false narrative, and as we see now that organization is being prosecuted.”

But Governor Herbert doesn’t believe that the Texas grand jury decision is the final word on whether Planned Parenthood did anything wrong.

“My focus has always been on what’s come out of the video themselves and the investigation going on in Washington, so we’ll let that play out, as we’ve said, and make the determination after that’s completed,” Herbert says.

The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah sued Herbert after his announcement in August last year. A U.S. District Court Judge affirmed the governor’s right to terminate the contracts, but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order to keep the funds flowing until those justices hear arguments on March 8th.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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