Planned Parenthood facilities in Texas will no longer receive taxpayer funds through the Medicaid program beginning February 3.
The state denied the abortion provider’s request to continue to receive Medicaid reimbursement funding for its clinics, as Catholic News Agency observed.
Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, praised the persistence of the Texas legislature, and said while the abortion industry has spread the narrative that low-income women need Planned Parenthood for health services, many other options actually exist.
“There are hundreds of providers throughout the state of Texas willing to serve poor women with authentic healthcare services that are not also peddling abortion,” Allmon said. “The Texas Pregnancy Care Network has a list of such providers throughout the state and if these providers do not accept Medicaid, they can make referrals to life-affirming Medicaid providers who can offer genuine healthcare to women in need.”
In November, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overruled a lower district court’s decision, ending a five-year battle waged by Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas to block the state from eliminating their Medicaid taxpayer funding.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cited undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue activities in his statement about the ruling, asserting the abortion vendor is not “qualified” to receive taxpayer funds:
The Fifth Circuit correctly rejected Planned Parenthood’s efforts to prevent Texas from excluding them from the state’s Medicaid program. 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.
My statement on today’s ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/CExmuN6ESg
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) November 23, 2020
As LifeSiteNews reported in November 2019, undercover video journalist David Daleiden testified in a federal civil trial that Texas Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast planned to “move forward” with an arrangement he proposed, as he posed as the head of a fetal tissue procurement company, to purchase aborted baby livers from the abortion provider for $750 each.
Planned Parenthood based its case on the claim that a patient should be able to choose who is a Medicaid provider, as CEO Alexis McGill Johnson tweeted:
Let’s be clear — patients should be able to go to the provider they know and trust regardless of their zip code and income level. Accountability is coming, and we will fight back against any politician who doesn’t prioritize expanding accessible, affordable quality health care.
— Alexis McGill Johnson (@alexismcgill) November 23, 2020
However, Chief Judge Priscilla Owen, a George W. Bush appointee, was joined by a panel of other judges in her opinion stating individual patients are not involved in the decision of which providers are qualified to receive taxpayer funds.
“The Medicaid Act leaves it up to a State to determine if a particular provider’s Medicaid agreement should be terminated because the provider is not ‘qualified’ or terminated on other grounds,” Owen wrote, adding:
A Medicaid patient is not involved in a provider’s willingness to accept Medicaid procedures, regulations, and reimbursement rates. Additionally, whether a provider is “qualified” is largely a factual determination with the facts more readily available to the provider, not the Medicaid patient. If a state agency or actor determines that a particular provider is not qualified, in most if not all cases, it is the provider who has the most incentive to contest such a finding and to seek a resolution.
According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, the abortion provider received $616.8 million from “government health services reimbursements and grants,” primarily through the Medicaid program.
Reacting to the Fifth Circuit’s opinion at the time, former Planned Parenthood manager-turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson said in a statement:
As much as abortion advocates will cry this decision hurts the poor and oppressed, Planned Parenthood has been repeatedly caught abusing the very same medical program that is indeed supposed to help low-income families.
Johnson further cited how taxpayer funds can be used to pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood:
They paid $4.3 million to the federal government and Texas in 2013 for Medicaid fraud and as of 2017, 51 known external reviews and audits showed Medicaid overbilling at nearly every clinic that was investigated. And money that comes into Planned Parenthood, no matter the source, is put into one pot and from there is distributed for everything the clinic needs to stay afloat, including abortions. Taxpayer money, even in the form of Medicaid, pays for abortions.
Johnson noted Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports demonstrate the organization’s actual health services have dropped significantly as abortions have increased.
“Women are just a number for Planned Parenthood, a number that will increase their bottom line no matter what,” she explained. “Medicaid funding needs to go to those who need it, not to so-called health clinics who have perfected the practice of abusing the system to the detriment of the very women they claim to serve.”
In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood, Paxton announced last week that Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins defended the constitutionality of the state’s law (Senate Bill 8) prohibiting second-trimester dismemberment abortions in the Fifth Circuit.
The Supreme Court previously held that states may pass laws to protect and foster respect for unborn life, and that is exactly what Texas did with Senate Bill 8.
We must treat the most vulnerable human lives in our society with dignity and respect.https://t.co/BsCLKrf8Pe
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) January 27, 2021
In a medical animation video provided by pro-life organization Live Action, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino demonstrated a second-trimester D&E (dilation and evacuation), or dismemberment, abortion during which the abortionist uses instruments to remove the limbs from an unborn baby, between 13 to 24 weeks into a pregnancy, prior to extraction from the uterus:
The Center for Reproductive Rights celebrated in November 2017 when a Texas district court struck down the ban on dismemberment abortions, calling the procedure “the safest and most common second trimester abortion method”:
BREAKING: Texas court strikes down a ban on the safest and most common second trimester abortion method! That's something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Eve. #TXDeservesBetter pic.twitter.com/jk5Jd28X0W
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) November 22, 2017
Paxton appealed the ruling, however, to the Fifth Circuit.
In 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also signed into law a measure that bars government agencies from contracting with groups that provide or promote abortions.
Paxton said, according to the Center Square, the law “prohibits the State Employee Charitable Campaign and its Policy Committee from entering into a taxpayer resource transaction with an abortion provider or an affiliate of an abortion provider.”