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AHCA Secretary Dudek Defends Citations Of Planned Parenthood Clinics

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel

Florida’s top healthcare official says her agency was right to cite state planned parenthood clinics for violating abortion rules. But Planned Parenthood Florida maintains it did nothing wrong. During a recent inspection, the Agency for Healthcare Administration found three Florida planned parenthood clinics were performing abortions at 13 weeks. AHCA says that's a violation of state rules preventing the clinics from perfoming second trimester abortions.

Planned Parenthood Florida Clinics say they are allowed to perform first-trimester abortions up to 13.6 weeks and cite a state rule defining a trimester as “the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the first 14 completed weeks from the last normal menstrual period). But AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek disagrees.

“If you look at the definition of second trimester and what they reported in terms of number of weeks and gestational age, I’d go back to them and ask them what they reported," Dudek said when asked by reporters about the issue.

The Secretary is pointing to the same rule which defines the second trimester as “that portion of a pregnancy following the 12th week and extending through the 24th week of gestation".  The different sections of the rule appear to overlap and AHCA and Planned Parenthood Florida could end up fighting it out in court.

Governor Rick Scott ordered clinic inspections after undercover, edited videos showed planned parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood says those costs are associated with reimbursements for transportation, and that tissues are donated with consent of the patient.

Read Planned Parenthood's statement here.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.