- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Planned Parenthood supporters say a bill moving through the Florida Legislature to defund the organization would leave Florida women without adequate access to reproductive health care.

The bill by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, cleared the second of its three Senate committee hearings Wednesday on a party-line vote. A companion House bill has cleared its committees and awaits a floor vote.

Dozens of women appeared at the hearing protesting the bill. Even bill supporter, Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring, said she worries that eliminating government contracts with Planned Parenthood wouldn’t leave women enough options.

The bill would prohibit state or local health departments contracting with any organization for any health care services, if that organization also provides abortions. Planned Parenthood says it has many clinics in areas with few alternatives.

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