Planned Parenthood is suing the State of Texas in a fight to continue to receive Medicaid dollars. Officials for the state stopped the abortion provider from receiving these funds after numerous undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of baby parts and tissue. The state’s halt of dollars includes millions in federal dollars it distributes, as well as hundreds of thousands of state dollars.
Breitbart Texas reported in October when the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) stopped Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding over the sale of baby parts.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of American, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, took to Twitter on Monday and said “Planned Parenthood is taking Texas to court on behalf of the 13,500 patients who come to us for care through Medicaid.”
BREAKING: Today Planned Parenthood is taking Texas to court on behalf of the 13,500 patients who come to us for care through Medicaid.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) November 23, 2015
The abortion provider is trying to clawback these funds after state officials in October said it would halt funding to the abortion mill. The funding rebuke comes after undercover videos show Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of baby parts, as well as discussing altering the method of abortion to accommodate better preservation of the baby parts.
Breitbart has extensively reported about the undercover videos. These videos and this reporting reveal the lucrative nature of the business and potential violations of U.S. law. Federal law provides that an abortion clinic may only be “reimbursed” for costs incurred in providing this tissue.
The move by the Texas Office of Inspector General at HHSC comes after the revelation of the gruesome videos filmed at various Planned Parenthood facilities, including the Gulf Coast office in Texas.
The inspector general of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Stuart Bowen, wrote Planned Parenthood indicating that the videos confirmed that the abortion company was breaking Medicaid guidelines by altering abortions in order to harvest fetal tissue.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the letter from the Inspector General cited the following:
- That Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.
- The termination of all Planned Parenthood affiliates will not affect access to care because there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas including federally qualified heath centers, Medicaid-certified rural health clinics, and other health care providers across the state that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program and Medicaid.
- The State of Texas requests cooperation in informing all clients and potential clients of alternatives where they can obtain Medicaid services from providers in good standing with the State.
The letter from the HHSC Inspector General ends Medicaid participation for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas and is based on alleged Medicaid violations. The letter also calls for the end to funding by state and local taxpayers of other abortion providers as well.
In conjunction with the HHSC letter, Breitbart Texas reported that Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative program which aims to prevent the sale of baby body parts. Part of Abbott’s initiative calls for new legislation to be enacted by the next session of the Texas legislature.
Federal officials pushed back and said that refusing to distribute Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood could run contrary to federal law. Abortionists claim that Medicaid beneficiaries must be able to choose from any qualified health provider.
Berry reported that a federal district court in Louisiana in October temporarily stopped the halt of Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood and said the abortion provider must continue to receive these funds. The judge, U.S. District Court Judge John W. deGravelles, reportedly told lawyers during a hearing that “this is all about the videotapes.” He said a number of states “have conducted investigations into the tapes and have vindicated Planned Parenthood.”
Breitbart Texas recently reported that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in mid-November to hear a lawsuit claiming that a Texas law unconstitutionally limits access to abortion in the state. The court granted certiorari review of a challenge to provisions of Texas House Bill 2 (HB 2).
Breitbart Texas reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld on June 9th the strict abortion clinic restrictions passed into law by the Texas legislature. These are the same restrictions that former Democrat Texas Senator and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis temporarily blocked during her 13-hour filibuster. Pro-abortion groups call the strict legislation in Texas “sham laws” and complain they “are shutting clinics down and placing countless women at risk of serious harm,” as reported by Breitbart News.
Briscoe Cain, Texas legal counsel for Operation Rescue told Breitbart Texas, “Planned Parenthood betrays women. Instead of helping women have their baby or encouraging mothers to place the baby up for adoption, Planned Parenthood pressures them to terminate the life of the baby and then sells the body parts for profit.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2