Texas And Louisiana Don’t Have To Give Federal Funds To Planned Parenthood, Court Says

(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Another abortion case could be moving up through the legal system, with an eventual showdown in the Supreme Court a possibility.

On Monday, a circuit court ruled that both Louisiana and Texas could exclude Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding. It’s an effort by the two conservative-leaning states to ban federal funds from going to the country’s largest abortion provider.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision overturned a preliminary injunction issued by a district court that was preventing the two states from excluding Planned Parenthood from the federal funding. The 11-5 decision said Planned Parenthood never had the right to challenge the decisions of Texas and Louisiana over which people receive benefits from Medicaid.

According to the majority opinion, beneficiaries of Medicaid “have no right under the statute to challenge a State’s determination that a provider is unqualified.” Because of that, the states can remove Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funds.

This has been an ongoing issue in the two stats since 2015. Undercover videos were released that year that reportedly show employees of Planned Parenthood discussing selling fetal tissue. Once that happened, state officials in both Louisiana and Texas tried to have the organization kicked out of funding from Medicaid. They used the videos as evidence that Planned Parenthood was willing to profit by selling fetal tissue.

A lower court blocked the two states from doing so in 2017. Now, though, they can continue doing so.

Last year, the organization pulled out of Title X funding due to a Trump administration rule that forbids participants from providing direct abortion referrals. That means Planned Parenthood can receive Medicaid funding for other health services it provides, but not abortion.

Jeffrey Hons, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood South Texas, said the court decision was politicizing health care. He said:

“The governor wants to control where you can get family planning and sexual health care — once again, political ideology is driving health care policy, resulting in reduced access to health care.”

But many pro-life groups and people were happy with the decision. One was Ken Paxton, Texas’ attorney general, who said:

“The Fifth Circuit correctly rejected Planned Parenthood’s efforts to prevent Texas from excluding them from the state’s Medicaid program. 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.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, said state leaders should be praised for “working tirelessly to disentangle taxpayer dollars from the abortion industry.”

Despite the ruling from the Circuit Court of Appeals this week, the fight is not likely to end. Almost from the very beginning, it seemed destiny that this case would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. Whether the high court decides to take on the case is uncertain at this point.