Politics

Texas, Louisiana Can Exclude Planned Parenthood From Medicaid Funding, Court Rules

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Texas and Louisiana may exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from Medicaid funding, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday. 
  • “Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.
  • The ruling partially relies on footage secretly recorded and published by pro-life activist David Daleiden which allegedly shows videos of Planned Parenthood employees in 2013 and 2014 discussing the sale of fetal body parts.

Texas and Louisiana may exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from Medicaid funding, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday.

“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,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in the statement.

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

The ruling reverses an earlier appellate ruling that had blocked Texas from enforcing the state’s ban, Fox News reported Tuesday. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced in 2015 that it intended to end its Medicaid provider agreements with five different Planned Parenthood groups, according to CourtHouse News.

Texas HHS’s decision came after pro-life activist David Daleiden posed as a fetal tissue procurer and secretly recorded and published videos of Planned Parenthood employees in 2013 and 2014 allegedly discussing the sale of fetal body parts.

Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited and sued both Daleiden and CMP in March 2016. (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Employee Testified She Wanted To ‘Move Forward’ On Selling Fetal Livers For $750 Each)

Texas officials said in 2017 that Planned Parenthood clinicians had expressed “willingness” to profit from the alleged fetal tissue deals shown in Daleiden’s videos.

George W. Bush appointee Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen said in the ruling that the state had determined that Planned Parenthood was not qualified to receive Medicaid funding and that Planned Parenthood affiliates had not been able to contest this.

Planned Parenthood called the ruling “a blatantly political attack that will jeopardize critical health care access for Texans with low incomes during a global pandemic,” according to CourtHouse News. (RELATED: Unsealed Invoices Show Planned Parenthood Billed A Tissue Company Nearly $25K For Fetal Body Parts)

“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 care,” said Planned Parenthood South Texas President and CEO Jeffrey Hons said in a Monday statement. “All Texans, regardless of income, deserve access to quality, affordable health care and the ability to choose their own provider.”

Daleiden said in a statement that Texas cited his undercover videos “as the basis for terminating the Planned Parenthood network from taxpayer subsidies under Medicaid,” emphasizing that the decision confirms that his footage shows “accurate and reliable evidence of serious criminality in the abortion industry and fetal trafficking enterprises.”

“The Fifth Circuit has marked a clear path for the federal Health and Human Services Department to eliminate all taxpayer subsidies from the big abortion industry, and for the U.S. Department of Justice to finally enforce the law against anyone involved in commodifying children in the womb,” Daleiden said.

Pro-life advocates celebrated the win as a massive win in their fight against the abortion giant.

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

“Women are just a number for Planned Parenthood, a number that will increase their bottom line no matter what,” former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson said in a statement. “Medicaid funding needs to go to those who need it, not to so-called health clinics who have perfected the practice of abusing the system to the detriment of the very women they claim to serve.”

Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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