Court rules for Texas in Planned Parenthood defunding case
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/21/19, 11:21 am
A federal appeals court last week lifted a lower court ban that prohibited Texas from cutting Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks blocked Texas from stripping $3 million in Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood in February 2017 after state officials tried to defund the abortion giant based on undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. A Texas inspector general said the footage appeared to show Planned Parenthood had adjusted abortion procedures to better preserve the body parts of babies for scientific experiments. Sparks ruled the officials had provided no evidence of wrongdoing. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday removed Sparks’ preliminary injunction, saying he should have given greater weight to state findings on whether Planned Parenthood staff were medically and ethically qualified.
The case will go back to Sparks to determine if the state has cause to end Planned Parenthood’s funding.
“Planned Parenthood’s reprehensible conduct, captured in undercover videos, proves that it is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, so we are confident we will ultimately prevail,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.
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