ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
78°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 92° L 76°
  • clear-night
    78°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 92° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    89°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 92° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program
Close

Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program

Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File
FILE- In this June 4, 2019, file photo, a Planned Parenthood clinic is photographed in St. Louis. Planned Parenthood says it will leave the federal family planning program by Monday, Aug. 19, unless a court puts a hold on Trump administration rules that bar clinics from referring women for abortions. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program

Raising the stakes in an ideologically charged standoff over women's health, Planned Parenthood said Wednesday it will soon leave the federal family planning program unless a court puts a hold on Trump administration rules that bar clinics from referring patients for abortions.

The administration responded that it is ready to operate the Title X family planning program without the organization that has been the largest provider. About 4 million women are served nationwide under the program, which distributes $260 million in grants to clinics. It's unclear how many patients would be affected.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Erica Sackin said that its affiliated clinics "will be formally out of the Title X program" by Monday, passing up federal funding, unless the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco halts the new rules. The appeals court is weighing a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and others to overturn the rules; a panel of judges in effect had earlier allowed the administration to go ahead with enforcement.

Monday also is the deadline set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for participants in the family planning program to submit plans on how they would comply with the rules, which are set to take effect Sept. 18.

In a notice to the court Wednesday, Planned Parenthood said it "will be forced to withdraw" by close of business on Monday unless the full court intervenes. Planned Parenthood says the administration's new policy is "unethical and dangerous," amounting to a "gag rule" on clinicians.

In response, HHS spokeswoman Mia Heck said Planned Parenthood represents fewer than 400 of 4,000 service sites around the country.

"To the extent that Planned Parenthood claims that it must make burdensome changes to comply with the final rule, it is actually choosing to place a higher priority on the ability to refer for abortion instead of continuing to receive federal funds to provide a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods," Heck said in a statement.

The immediate impact for patients remained unclear. Planned Parenthood says it serves about 40% of patients, but it has also pledged to keep its doors open as it contests the administration's policy change. Other program participants unaffiliated with Planned Parenthood have warned they'd leave the program as well.

It seemed likely that disruptions to the 50-year-old program would vary from state to state. Some states have said they would step in to take over from the federal government. In addition to birth control, clinics provide basic health services and cancer screenings for many low-income women.

Although federal family planning money cannot be used to pay for abortions, clinics had been able to refer women seeking abortions to another provider. In many cases, that would be a Planned Parenthood facility.

The administration's family planning rule is part of a series of efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health to please conservatives who are a key part of President Donald Trump's political base. Religious conservatives see the program as providing an indirect subsidy to Planned Parenthood, which runs family planning clinics and is also a major abortion provider.

Along with the ban on abortion referrals by clinics, the rule's requirements include financial separation from facilities that provide abortion, designating abortion counseling as optional instead of standard practice and limiting which staff members can discuss abortion with patients. Clinics would have until next March to separate their office space and examination rooms from the physical facilities of providers that offer abortions.

HHS says it does not want to see a disruption of services, and officials are willing to accommodate clinics that are making a "good-faith" effort to comply.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman.

Planned Parenthood and other opponents of the administration's rule say it would interfere with a medical professional's duty to provide complete information to their patients. Also seeking to overturn the rule are several states and professional groups, including the American Medical Association.

"For all intents and purposes, (the new policy) imposes a gag rule on what information physicians can provide to their patients," the AMA said in a statement this year. "The patient-physician relationship relies on trust, open conversation and informed decision making and the government should not be telling physicians what they can and cannot say to their patients."

Anti-abortion groups are essentially daring Planned Parenthood to exit.

"Women across America are going to find out for themselves that they don't need Planned Parenthood after the nation's largest abortion vendor pulls out of a program that they never should have been in at all," said Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins in a statement.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking for your help as they face an unknown condition threatening our big cats. The disorder has, so far, seemed to affect Florida panthers and bobcats. The abnormality causes the cats to stumble, seemingly unable to coordinate their back legs. The FWC writes: As of August 2019, the FWC has confirmed neurological damage in one panther and one bobcat. Additionally, trail camera footage has captured eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat displaying varying degrees of this condition. Videos of affected cats were collected from multiple locations in Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties, and at least one panther photographed in Charlotte County could also have been affected.” They are testing for toxins, including rat pesticide, as well as infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. The organization is also asking the public for video, if they have it, of stumbling big cats and to submit those videos to the FWC. Mobile users see video here. The more footage they have, the better their investigation, which quickly needs solved. Florida panthers are an endangered species in the state. Biologists estimate there are about 200 left in the wild. Mobile users see Instagram post here.
  • Mark your calendars and grab your sunglasses, the Florida Strawberry Festival has announced its new theme for the 85th annual event in 2020 — 'Our Perfect Vision! A new theme is created for the festival each year, and this year the marketing geniuses played up the year 2020 and the Festivals “Perfect Vision” for fun. Mr. Berry is sporting a FSF fedora and sunglasses with 2020 on the lenses. The iconic mascot is also carrying a plate of strawberry shortcake. Each year, more than 500,000 people enjoy the 11-day community event which celebrates the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. The festival features headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake. The 2020 Florida Strawberry Festival is set for February 27 - March 8 in Plant City. For more information, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com. 
  • The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office shared what they call a “sensitive” arrest on their Facebook page writing, “You could even say it’s kinda nuts.” Deputies responded to a 911 hang-up call at a Sebring home Sunday, to discover Gary Van Ryswyk had just performed a castration on another man he met on the dark web at a sight for people with a castration fetish. Deputies found the victim on the bed with a towel over his groin, which was bleeding heavily. Nearby, there was a pink container which held two body parts that deputies say,  “had recently been much closer to the victim.” The Sheriff said in the Facebook post that “Van Ryswyk had dropped the ball on this one.” The victim was taken to the hospital and was later flown to a regional medical center where  he is listed in stable condition. Van Ryswyk admitted to investigators that he told the victim he had experience performing the procedure on animals and had even removed one of his own testicles in 2012. Deputies say Van Ryswyk had planned to operate on the victim a week earlier, but had to delay it after trying to sanitize the area. He also said he had done a similar procedure on a man in a local motel a few years ago, which also did not turn out well. Van Ryswky could not remember the name of that victim, who he said also went to the hospital, but law enforcement was not notified. The 74-year-old was arrested Monday and charged with practicing medicine without a license resulting in bodily injury, a second-degree felony. His bond was set at $250,000. Anyone who has information about Van Ryswyk is asked to call Det. Roger St. Laurent at 863-402-7250 or email detectives@highlandssheriff.com. Tips can also be left anonymously on the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office app or through Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.
  • When Stephanie Oyen donned a blue blazer and glasses, she knew she looked like Massachusetts senator and 2020 Democrat Elizabeth Warren. She hoped to draw a few smiles with the outfit but never expected the attention that would end up drowning her. “I thought it would get some giggles,” Oyen told the Star Tribune. “Then people started yelling, ‘Senator Warren!’ People were clapping and running up to me to take photos. I kept saying ‘I’m not her!’ but I looked up and hundreds of people were staring at me.” The attention got to be so much, she ended up taking off the spectacles and sweater, just so she could have a break. “It got weird very fast,' she explained. 'I talk with my hands and shake my head, which only made me look more like Elizabeth Warren. I was saying ‘I’m not her!’ but I could have been saying ‘Medicare for all!’ ” “I’m not a prankster,” she continued, “I really thought people would know, but then they started running up and saying ‘You’re my hero!’ and taking photos. I felt so bad.” But it all peaked when Oyen came face to face with Senator Warren. Warren reportedly told her “We need to talk!” as she pointed to Oyen's outfit. Mobile users see tweet here. “I couldn’t tell if she recognized I was dressed like her or if she thought, ‘Here’s a weird lady dressed like a stereotypical politician,’ ” Oyen laughed. The Massachusetss candidate later tweeted a photo of the two together, writing, it 'would've been even better if she'd brought her own Bailey,' aka Warren's golden retriever and campaign companion.
  • An argument over a plastic cart that was in a trash heap on the side of the road turned serious when one man unsheathed a sword and started swinging. The man only stopped when he noticed a camera was recording the ordeal. Now, The Broward County Sheriffs Office has released the video, taken in Oakland Park on  July 15, 2019, in their search for the  sword wielding suspect. The argument began after a jogger claimed the plastic cart and wheeled it home. Deputies say the cart has also caught the eye of a man in a white, older-model pickup who was already looking through the discarded items. He became upset when the jogger took the cart and followed him home after the two exchanged words. The video shows the second man approach the jogger with what appears to be a red stick, but as he gets closer he removes a sword from a red sheath and begins swinging as he tries to take the cart away. The two struggle in a tug-of-war over the cart for several seconds, all while the man continues to swing the sword. He only stopped when the jogger pointed out the security camera, but he still threatened to return. Minutes later, the video shows a disgruntled woman taking the cart away from the joggers yard while hurling insults. Detectives said they believe the woman and the jogger know each other. App users click here to see the video.  Anyone with information about the man with the sword is asked to call the  Broward County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit Detective Tiberio Barbosa at 954-321-4278. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org,

Washington Insider

  • With the Prime Minister of Denmark making it clear that she was not interested in selling Greenland to the United States, labeling the idea 'absurd,' President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that he would cancel his scheduled visit to the NATO ally in early September. 'Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting,' the President tweeted on Tuesday evening. In interviews this week, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had made clear that Greenland was not for sale, even as she welcomed the idea of closer relations between Denmark and the United States. But that wasn't enough for President Trump. On Sunday, President Trump had downplayed the issue as he returned to the White House. 'It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that,' the President told reporters when asked about the idea of buying Greenland. The decision obviously came as a surprise to U.S. diplomats in Denmark, as the U.S. Ambassador had put out a tweet a few hours earlier about the President's scheduled state visit. The President and First Lady had been invited by the Queen of Denmark earlier this summer for a two day state visit. Democrats mocked the President for canceling his stop in Denmark. “Embarrassing,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). 'What a shame when Greenland could be covered with sand traps, water holes and lots of beautiful putting greens,' said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), referring to the President's golfing.