Bentley Defunds Planned Parenthood, Back to School Tax Free Weekend

Aug 7, 2015

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is cutting off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos implying the group was selling fetal tissue to research groups.

Governor Bentley called Planned Parenthood's practices "deplorable” in a statement yesterday. He says he doesn't want Alabama to be associated with the group. Bentley says the state is terminating an agreement with Planned Parenthood Southeast to serve as a Medicaid provider.

State money to Planned Parenthood has gone to birth control for low-income women, but the exact amount wasn't immediately clear. The Alabama Medicaid Agency says Planned Parenthood has provided women on Medicaid with contraceptives such as IUDs and birth control shots. Medicaid dollars are already expressly forbidden from funding abortions through Planned Parenthood.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also announced he was removing Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid support this week.

Today marks the start of Alabama’s annual “back to school” tax free weekend.

The three-day period provides Alabama residents with the chance to purchase a wide variety of items and pay no state sales tax.

Nancy Dennis is the Alabama Retail Association’s director of public relations. She says despite the weekend’s well-known nickname, the savings apply to more than just students.

“The best thing is, this holiday is not just for people who are going back to school. It’s any clothing $100 and less, and that includes everything from diapers to wedding dresses. As long as it’s $100 or less, you can buy it. So you don’t have to be going back to school.”

Dennis says that more than 300 local governments are adding in their own tax breaks so some shoppers will be able to save up to ten percent depending on where they shop.

World War II veterans will have the chance to reunite tomorrow.

Montevallo will host the Honor Flight Birmingham and the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive Programs. The reunion is to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II.

Pam Nichols is the founder of Honor Flight Birmingham. She says this is a way to remember this generation and how they saved the world.

“Most of these veterans now are ninety years old and older, so this is one of the last opportunities probably for many of these veterans for all of us to say thank you.”

The event will be held at the Alabama National Cemetery and the American Village. Guests attending the event will be able to see displays of World War II era vehicles, and a reenactment of raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

Birmingham is once again in the running to serve as the site of a heavyweight championship boxing match featuring Tuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder.

Wilder’s co-manager Jay Deas says the boxers would love to return to Birmingham's Bartow Arena given the chance. The opponent isn't yet decided, but Wilder is set to defend his heavyweight World Boxing Council title in a primetime fight on September 26.

Deas says Wilder wants Alabama to be his home turf so he will fight in the state anytime it makes sense. Other potential sites for the bout include New York, California, Montreal and Houston.

Wilder successfully defended his title against Eric Molina during a fight in Birmingham in June.