Appeals Court Rules Texas and Louisiana Can Cut Medicaid Funding to Planned Parenthood

In a victory for the pro-life movement, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld two states’ bans on Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood Monday.

The Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, ruled en banc Monday that Texas and Louisiana can cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, concluding that federal law “does not give Medicaid patients the right to challenge a State’s determination that a particular Medicaid provider is unqualified.”

Opponents of Texas and Louisiana’s Medicaid bans argued that a “freedom-of-choice provision” in federal law prevents states from restricting which medical providers a Medicaid recipient can use.

The opinion of the Fifth Circuit frequently cited a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding an Ohio law stripping Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics of public funding. Voices on both sides of the abortion debate weighed in on Monday’s decision, which reverses earlier court rulings that blocked the states from enforcing the Medicaid bans.

“The Fifth Circuit correctly rejected Planned Parenthood’s efforts to prevent Texas from excluding them from the state’s Medicaid program,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a supporter of his state’s Planned Parenthood Medicaid ban. “Undercover video plainly showed Planned Parenthood admitting to morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct, including violations of federal law by manipulating the timing and methods of abortions to obtain fetal tissue for their own research.”

“Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program,” he added.

Following the court ruling, Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, warned that “forcing Planned Parenthood out of the Texas Medicaid program would have a devastating impact on Texans,” specifically “people of color, women, and people with low incomes.” Johnson vowed to “fight back against any politician who doesn’t prioritize expanding accessible, affordable quality health care.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ryan Foley

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