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Utah Gov. tells state agencies to stop serving as intermediary for federal funds to Planned Parenthood

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Aug 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-15 23:59:21-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Friday that the recent accusations regarding Planned Parenthood are troubling, and as such he has instructed state agencies to stop acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

Officials with the Governor's Office tell FOX 13 News the move does not mean Planned Parenthood will not be able to receive those federal funds, just that the Utah Department of Health will no longer act as a pass through. They said it is up to Planned Parenthood to figure out how to secure those funds going forward.

Saturday, Herbert elaborated on the statement, speaking to FOX 13 News' Ben Winslow while at the Utah Republican Party State Convention.

"I think the emotional aspect of it, it's probably good for the state to get out of being the pass-through mechanism," he said. "If they want to engage with the federal government directly and get their money, I think that's fine."

Herbert blamed other Planned Parenthood groups that had been selling fetal tissue, even though Utah's Planned Parenthood has not been doing so.

The full text of the statement from Herbert issued Friday is reproduced below:

“The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling. Current Utah state law prohibits the use of state funds to provide abortions by Planned Parenthood or any other organization. The federal government has provided grants to Planned Parenthood, distributed through the Utah Department of Health. These funds are also prohibited from being used to perform abortions. In light of ongoing concerns about the organization, I have instructed state agencies to cease acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to Planned Parenthood.”

The email from the Governor's Office also states: "Other state and local agencies and nonprofits will continue to provide STD education and prevention programs."

FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.