The State of Texas gave Planned Parenthood the boot on Tuesday saying it would no longer allow it to participate in the Medicaid program in the Lone Star State. The agency supervising the program ripped the abortion provider for its stated violations of state and federal law and ethics, including deviating from acceptable medical standards and procedures to procure research samples, and stated “a willingness to charge more than the costs incurred for procuring fetal tissue.”
A notice letter from the Office of Inspector General of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) sent to Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates on December 20 stated, “you are not qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner under the relevant provisions of state and federal law pertaining to Medicaid providers.”
The OIG writes the Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates saying, “The basis for your termination and the termination of your affiliates stems from an extensive undercover video obtained by the Center for Medical Progress at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Freeway facility in April 2015, which contains evidence that Planned Parenthood violated state and federal law. The evidence arises from detailed discussions with the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s staff. In addition, the United States House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel (House Investigative Panel) uncovered evidence consistent with and supportive of this termination.”
The Investigative Panel referred the evidence it found to the Texas Attorney General on December 1, 2016, as reported by Breitbart News.
The OIG says the “unedited video footage indicates that Planned Parenthood follows a policy of agreeing to procure fetal tissue, potentially for valuable consideration, even if it means altering the timing or method of an abortion. These practices violate accepted medical standards, as reflected in federal and state law, and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination.”
The OIG said that the undercover video taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston “reveals numerous violations of generally accepted standards of medical practice.” They detail the examples in their letter saying the violations include:
- a history of deviating from accepted standards to procure samples that meet researcher’s needs;
- a history of permitting staff physicians to alter procedures to obtain targeted tissue samples needed for their specific outside research;
- a willingness to convert normal pregnancies to the breech position to ensure researchers receive intact specimens;
- an admission that “we get what we need to do to alter the standard of care where we are still maintaining patient safety, still maintaining efficiency in clinic operations, but we integrate research into it”;
- an admission that Planned Parenthood gets requests for “information from our study sponsor on what data they need that is not our standard of care,” and that you provide what is needed by creating a separate research protocol or template that can include medically unnecessary testing; and
- willingness to charge more than the costs incurred for procuring fetal tissue.
It is a violation of the law to sell fetal remains for profit. The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2), as previously reported by Breitbart News.
The damning letter of the OIG also stated that “HHSC-IG has evidence that you engaged in misrepresentations about your activity related to fetal tissue procurements, as revealed by evidence provided by the House Investigative Panel.”
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the OIG sent the final notice letter to: Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas/Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood in San Antonio and Cameron and Willacy Counties, and the Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgical Center. The letter has been attached below.
The OIG of the HHSC issued an order in October 2015, banning Planned Parenthood from participating in Medicaid programs, as reported by Breitbart Texas at the time. The action notified Planned Parenthood that its affiliates in Texas would have their Medicaid participation cut-off for alleged Medicaid violations. The letter also called for the end to funding by state and local taxpayers of other abortion providers.
Last fiscal year (FY2015) Planned Parenthood affiliates across Texas received $4,223,598.69 in Medicaid funding.
The termination of Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in Texas means, as set out in the OIG’s letter, that Planned Parenthood’s contract with the Texas Medicaid program is “nullified on the effective date of the termination.”
Breitbart News reported on August 4, 2015, that “A video just released by the Center for Medical Progress taken undercover in Texas shows a Planned Parenthood research director discussing the sale of whole intact aborted babies to a company that resells them to medical researchers.” The video was of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research Melissa Farrell. PPGC is a mega-abortion facility located in Houston. One of the claims that Farrell makes on the tape is that PPGC in Houston has more revenue from research proceeds than all the other Planned Parenthood facilities combined.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick publicly condemned the video, and asked Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to conduct an investigation, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Anderson never brought an indictment against the mega-abortion provider; instead, the grand jury indicted the undercover videographers David Daleiden and Susan (Sandra) Merritt for felony tampering with a government record (a false drivers license). Daleiden was also indicted for the misdemeanor charge of offering to buy fetal tissue. The charges were later dismissed by a judge. Anderson lost her election in November 2016 after she had offended pro-lifers and jailed a rape victim in order to guarantee her testimony at trial, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
Planned Parenthood may appeal the Medicaid enrollment termination if it files a written request with HHSC-IG asking for an administrative hearing on or before the 15th day after they received the final notice of termination. If HHSC-IG does not receive a timely written response from them by that date, the final notice of termination will be unappealable.