Federal Appeals Court Rules Texas and Louisiana Can Defund Planned Parenthood

Federal Appeals Court Rules Texas and Louisiana Can Defund Planned Parenthood

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a ruling Monday overturning a lower federal court’s decision and upholding the right of Texas and Louisiana to cut off taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood via Medicaid funds.

Eleven of the court’s 16 justices signed the majority opinion, which stated that “Medicaid beneficiaries have an ‘absolute right’ … to receive services from a provider whom the state has determined is ‘qualified,’ but beneficiaries have no right under the statute to challenge a state’s determination that a provider is unqualified.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the court’s decision.

“The 5th Circuit correctly rejected Planned Parenthood’s efforts to prevent Texas from excluding them from the state’s Medicaid program,” he said in the statement.  “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. Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program.”

Paxton was referring to a series of videos released in 2015 by pro-life organization The Center for Medical Progress in which top-level executives from Planned Parenthood were recorded haggling over prices of aborted baby parts and discussing alternative methods for doctors to better harvest fetal organs during abortion procedures.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, also celebrated the decision and pointed out that four of the judges who joined in on the majority decision were Trump appointees.

“Texas and Louisiana had been fighting to cut ties with the abortion giant for years—only to be slapped down by the courts,” Perkins said. “Now, thanks to four new Trump judges, the bench had just enough common sense to give state leaders that right.”

President Trump has actually nominated six judges to the 5th Circuit. While four participated in Monday’s ruling, a fifth recused, and the sixth wasn’t on the court in time to hear the case.

Many pro-life supporters expect Planned Parenthood to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Perkins isn’t worried.

“If the abortion industry doesn’t agree, guess what? They can take it up with the U.S. Supreme Court, where another three of the president’s justices will be waiting,” he said.

 

Above: A sign placed by the pro-life group Operation Save America in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Orlando, Florida.

Photo: Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom

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