Court says Texas, Louisiana can block Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood

A Planned Parenthood facility in Washington is seen in this file photo. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, ruled Nov. 23, 2020, that Texas and Louisiana can cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clinics. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

WASHINGTON — The president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization, welcomed the Nov. 23 federal appeals court decision allowing Texas and Louisiana to exclude Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding.

“This ruling is a huge victory in the battle to stop taxpayer funding of America’s biggest abortion business — Planned Parenthood,” Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

“The core mission of Planned Parenthood is to destroy innocent human life, the antithesis to real health care,” she said. “We thank pro-life leaders in Texas and Louisiana for working tirelessly to disentangle taxpayer dollars from the abortion industry.”

The full 16-member 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, heard the case, and in an 11-5 decision reversed an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel of the court. The case is expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to The Associated Press, Texas and Louisiana’s efforts to stop Medicaid funding from going to Planned Parenthood followed an assessment of what was documented in videos secretly recorded by pro-life activist David Daleiden in 2015.

A state inspector general said the videos showed “Planned Parenthood had improperly changed how abortions were performed so that better specimens could be preserved for medical research.”

In a statement about the 5th Circuit’s ruling, Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of “hurting … people of color, women and people with low incomes” by forcing Planned Parenthood out of the Texas Medicaid program.

“Patients should be able to go to the provider they know and trust regardless of their ZIP code and income level,” she said. “Accountability is coming, and we will fight back against any politician who doesn’t prioritize expanding accessible, affordable quality health care.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement: “Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program.”

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