Planned Parenthood Seeks Special Protections After Losing Taxpayer Funding

Planned Parenthood used the courts to escape a federal appeals process that every other Medicaid-funded organization must follow…

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Arkansas Abortion Restrictions

Supreme Court/photo by blmurch (CC)

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Republican Senators and pro-family organizations filed amicus briefs on Thursday that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review Gee v. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, a case originating from Louisiana that gives the abortion provider “special treatment,” according to the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be given a special pass in an attempt to get its way,” said ADF Legal Counsel Elissa Graves. “We are asking the Supreme Court to take up the Louisiana case and reverse lower court rulings that have so far allowed Planned Parenthood to skirt what federal law clearly requires. If Planned Parenthood wants to challenge the removal of its status as a Medicaid provider in Louisiana because of its various scandals, it can do so through the well-established process that everyone else has to follow.”

Louisiana terminated its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in 2015 following the passage of a law prohibiting abortion providers from receiving state funds. The U.S. Congress requires organizations that lose their Medicaid agreements with states to appeal at the federal level, but Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast ignored the process and filed suit with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The circuit court ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood, preventing states like Mississippi and Louisiana from enforcing state laws that eliminate taxpayer funding for abortion services. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a similar law preventing Medicaid funding for abortion-providing facilities in 2016.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, submitted an amicus brief yesterday requesting the U.S. Supreme Court review the case. He had the support of 23 Republican Senators, according to a press release.

“Congress gave states broad authority to determine which organizations can participate in their Medicaid programs,” Wicker said. “This ruling undermines congressional intent and state laws to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion. I hope the Supreme Court will take up this case and rule in favor of states’ rights and the unborn.”

The brief also received 66 signatures from members of the House of Representatives.

The brief filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Louisiana Family Forum and 26 other pro-family organizations argued that Planned Parenthood “can’t use the courts to challenge the removal of those agreements in an attempt to evade the established administrative appeals process that federal law requires.”

“Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, vice president of the ADF Center for Life. “We hope the Supreme Court will take this case and make it clear that neither Planned Parenthood nor anyone else should be treated in a favored way that allows it to escape federal laws that all other organizations with Medicaid agreements have to follow.”