The ACLJ filed a friend-of-the-court brief this week in the Supreme Court in an important case involving the states’ prerogative to defund Planned Parenthood. The case is Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast, Inc.
We filed in support of the State of Louisiana’s decision to disqualify Planned Parenthood as a provider of healthcare services to Medicaid patients. If the Court decides to hear the case, the decision could have a dramatic impact on the ability of the states to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Here’s the background: In the wake of the national scandal associated with videotapes of Planned Parenthood employees negotiating for the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, many states enacted laws preventing abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from providing medical services to patients receiving health care in the states’ Medicaid programs. A substantial percentage of the $543 million in taxpayer funds that Planned Parenthood received in 2016-2017 came from its Medicaid service contracts. Louisiana attempted to terminate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast (PPGC). Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had issued an order to the Louisiana Department of Health to do so, explaining that PPGC does not represent the state’s values “respecting human life.” In addition, the Louisiana Department of Health based the termination of its contract on substantial evidence that PPGC had engaged in fraudulent billing practices.
Claiming that the Medicaid Act authorized it to do so, PPGC, along with three of its Medicaid patients immediately filed suit in federal court asking the court to stop Louisiana from terminating its Medicaid contracts with PPGC. The district court entered a preliminary injunction and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed.
In our brief urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, we argued that the lower courts’ misreading of the two Medicaid statutory provisions at issue divested Louisiana of its sovereign authority to set policy about allocation of taxpayer funds.
The Fifth Circuit did not merely misread the Medicaid Act; its foundational error was analyzing the statutory issues apart from any consideration of the federalism concerns raised when the federal government tells a sovereign state how it must allocate its taxpayer funds.
The Fifth Circuit’s misreading of the two [Medicaid] statutory provisions stripped state authority over Medicaid provider disqualification decisions, and effectively coerced policy in a sensitive area of state concern.
We also argued that Supreme Court review was warranted because Planned Parenthood’s rampant corruption justified state and federal government decisions to cut it off from taxpayer subsidy. In addition to attempts to sell aborted baby parts, the organization is notorious for:
This is a very important case that could strike a devastating blow against the abortion purveyor.
In addition to filing this amicus brief at the Supreme Court to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood, we are preparing to file public comments in support of a newly proposed HHS regulation that would defund upwards for $60 million of our taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood through Title X. You can add your name to our filing here.
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