Judge Confirms Oklahoma Can Cut Planned Parenthood Funding
by Steven Ertelt | Oklahoma City, OK | LifeNews.com | 12/26/12 12:43 PM
A federal judge ruled on Monday that the state of Oklahoma has the right to cut taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The abortion giant sued the state of Oklahoma after state officials yanked taxpayer funds it received through a taxpayer-funded program that provides food for low income women and children.
In October, Oklahoma officials dropped the abortion giant so it could steer tax dollars to legitimate agencies helping women and children in need.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health ended its WIC contract with Planned Parenthood, whose CEO thinks the decision was politically motivated. The letter from the Health Department to Planned Parenthood is signed by Chief of WIC Services Terry Bryce and dated September 27 and says the contract will not be renewed and is ending September 30, but gives an extension to the end of the year.
The state also de-funded the abortion company because Planned Parenthood’s cost per participant exceeded those of legitimate centers.
Abortion business CEO Jill June told the Tulsa newspaper, “We’re going to do whatever we can to preserve our ability to continue to serve these women and children, because we know that’s what they want and we know that we are a very good provider.”
In November, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed its lawsuit in federal court against Terry Cline, Oklahoma’s Commissioner of Health.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot of the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that Planned Parenthood can’t stop Oklahoma from ending the contract. The ruling indicated the abortion company failed to prove that the contract was ended for political reasons because it supports abortion.
As Reuters reported:
The judge said Planned Parenthood’s performance shortfalls – mostly drops in caseload – did not themselves seem to be problems that could lead to a cut in ties.
“But a routine, solvable problem can become a justifiable basis for strong action when it is compounded by persistent unresponsiveness in addressing the challenge,” Friot wrote in his decision.
Losing the contract will force Planned Parenthood to close one of its three clinics in Tulsa, according to Penny Dickey, the organization’s chief operating officer.
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State officials have said other clinics can absorb the Planned Parenthood caseload in the Tulsa area when the contract ends.
The WIC program brings in 3,000 people a month to the abortion giant, and will help women and children find the same services at a location that does not also refer women for abortions.
“This is a renewal period, and the agency has taken the option not to renew based on the needs of the Health Department, the contractor’s performance and funding availability,” according to a statement the department released.
The WIC program uses federal funds to provide food vouchers to low-income pregnant women, women who have recently given birth, and infants and children younger than 5.