Louisiana Panel OKs Bill Investigating Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 29, 2013   |   5:42PM   |   Baton Rouge, LA

A Louisiana state legislative committee today approved a measure calling for state agencies to investigate the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The panel approved House Resolution 105 by Rep. Frank Hoffmann to ask the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Administration, the Legislative Auditor, and the office of the Inspector General to investigate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to see if it is in compliance with state and federal laws as it plans to build a new abortion business in New Orleans.

As the New Orleans newspaper reported:

The House Committee on Health and Welfare passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 57, sponsored by Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, which requests that the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the Division of Administration, the legislative auditor and the office of the Inspector General to monitor Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to see whether the organization has been abusing their Medicaid dollars to provide or recommend abortions.

“We’re making sure there are no economic incentives for this,” said Rep. Frank Hoffmann of the new Planned Parenthood facility. Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, carried the bill for Martiny in the committee.

The Senate resolution is similar to House Resolution 105, which also asks the same agencies to investigate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which operates facilities in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Texas. That measure, by Hoffmann, was also passed unanimously by the House Committee on Health and Welfare last week.

HR105 was amended in committee to “immediately suspend all grants and reimbursements pursuant to its Medicaid provider agreement,” until allegations the nonprofit misuses their federal funds have been addressed. It is set to be debated on the House floor Wednesday afternoon.

The measure even had the support of Democrats.

“It’s hard to take politics out of politics. I think it’s very much a bipartisan move because we really feel strongly about this type of thing. Anything that has to do with killing and taking a life, we don’t want anything like that in this state,” said Rep. Harvey LeBas, D-Ville Platte.

The bill also addresses Medicaid fraud that Planned Parenthood has engaged in in other states — with a request to look into its Medicaid reimbursements in Louisiana.

House Resolution 105 also urges suspension of grants and reimbursements under state contracts or Medicaid provider agreements for family planning and other services pending investigation of fraudulent billing practices alleged in two federal lawsuits. The lawsuits do not involve Louisiana operations.

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“This bill is playing offense to a practice that is taking place in other states,” said Senate Bill 90 sponsor Sen. Fred Mills, R-St. Martinville.

Planned Parenthood representatives did not testify on either measure. Lobbyist D.W. Hunt put in a card noting the group’s opposition.

The House Health and Welfare Committee approved both measures, without objection, sending them to the House floor for action.

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans and Pastor Antoine Barriere of Household of Faith joined with hundreds of pro-life advocates for a rally to oppose a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in New Orleans.