NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Monday that he's giving Planned Parenthood a 30-day notice before pulling state-funded Medicaid reimbursements from the women's health organization.
The move comes weeks after a controversial video surfaced, allegedly showing a Planned Parenthood worker discussing prices of fetuses over lunch and wine.
"In my heart, I knew it was not the right thing going on, but when I saw the videos I was completely in shock," said Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana.
Villere applauded Jindal's decision to pull the funding mechanism from the embattled health care program.
"I think he made a great decision. I support him 100 percent on it, and I think the Republican Party statewide supports him 100 percent," Villere said.
Planned Parenthood, for its part, argues the move will take away health care services for more than 2.7 million people in the state, including cancer screenings, well-woman visits and STD testing.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the lack of funding won't diminish the availability of services for people in Louisiana.
"Access to care will still be there. There are other Medicaid providers that people will still be able to go to. They can contact Medicaid now for a list of those providers and we can link them to those services in their area," said DHH spokeswoman Ashley Lewis.
But Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions in Louisiana, one reason why some people think the move is just a political Hail Mary designed to gain clout before the first Republican national debate.
"Jindal's been very disciplined about what part of the Republican base he's going for in this Republican presidential primary. It's the social conservatives, so this move is directly in line with what we would expect Jindal to do," FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman said.
DHH said Planned Parenthood will still receive funding during the next 30 days, and patients should be able to transfer records to new providers.
Jindal is currently polling 13th among Republican hopefuls, according to an average of national polls.