Another state is making progress towards revoking taxpayer funding for the nation’s biggest abortion business. Yesterday, the Louisiana state Senate approved HB 606, authored by Rep. Frank Hoffmann (R-West Monroe), to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion companies like Planned Parenthood.
HB 606 ensures that businesses and organizations that perform abortions cannot receive taxpayer dollars, even for other purposes. Gov. Edward’s chief of staff Ben Nevers testified in support of the legislation.
A bill to bar public funding for entities that provide abortions, legislation that could be used to prevent Planned Parenthood from opening an abortion clinic in New Orleans, passed the full Senate on Monday (May 23). The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards.
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Hoffmann’s bill represents a new path to defunding, but only if Planned Parenthood begins performing abortions in Louisiana. The organization has plans to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans, and the clinic on Claiborne Avenue has not yet opened.
A Planned Parenthood official said earlier this year that there were plans to open the clinic this summer. The organization does not yet have a license to perform abortions in Louisiana.
Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said, “Businesses that sell abortions, like Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast plans to do at the facility under construction in New Orleans, should never receive the tax dollars of American citizens. We are glad that the Senate Health and Welfare Committee agreed with this core principle and passed HB 606. We look forward to HB 606 receiving a positive vote on the Senate floor next week.”
In August, then-Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal canceled a state contract with Planned Parenthood that provides the abortion company with family planning funding through Medicaid. But Planned Parenthood went to court to block the move.
Then, Jindal tried a different approach — one based on the fact that Planned Parenthood has been caught in other states engaging in Medicaid fraud.
In Texas, Planned Parenthood was forced to repay the state $4.3 million after it was found to have participated in a massive Medicaid fraud scheme. A former employee of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has filed a whistleblower’s complaint with the Attorney General of Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice. The PPGC employee alleges that the abortion business engaged in an elaborate Medicaid fraud scheme.
Karen Reynolds, who worked as a “health care assistant” from 1999 to 2009 at the Lufkin, Texas, branch of the affiliate formerly known as Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, submitted company memos and emails to support her charge that PPGC has engaged in a systemwide scheme to bilk Medicaid, Title XX, and the Women’s Health Program of tens of millions of dollars over the course of at least a decade.
Reynolds alleges bosses trained employees to bill government agencies for medical and family planning services not rendered, for services no reasonable medical personnel would provide, and – the biggest bombshell – for abortion-related services fudged to appear as if they were not.
The Texas Attorney General found Planned Parenthood had defrauded the state after a thorough investigation.
Louisiana says the Texas settlement makes it so Planned Parenthood has violated Medicaid rules as a whole — thus disqualifying it for funding in the Bayou State.
After the expose’ showed Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies, then Governor Jindal said, “In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”
Jindal’s office referenced the investigation he sought almost immediately after the first of four videos was released.
It said the governor is “multiple videos have surfaced showing Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior personnel and other employees describing how they actively engage in illegal partial birth abortion procedures and conduct these abortions in a manner that leaves body parts intact so that they can later be sold on the open market. Since these videos have surfaced, Governor Jindal has directed DHH to investigate Planned Parenthood’s activities in Louisiana and also sent a letter to both the Louisiana Inspector General and the F.B.I. asking them to assist in the investigation.”
According to the Medicaid provider contract between DHH and Planned Parenthood, along with relevant Louisiana law, either party can choose to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice.
Jindal’s office said, “Governor Jindal and DHH decided to give the required 30-day notice to terminate the Planned Parenthood Medicaid provider contract because Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life. Pending the ongoing investigation, DHH reserves the right to amend the cancellation notice and terminate the provider agreement immediately should cause be determined.”
The governor said the state health department has “concerns that Planned Parenthood could be acting in violation of Louisiana law that states no person or group contracting with the state or receiving government assistance shall require or recommend that any woman have an abortion. The state investigation into Planned Parenthood remains ongoing.”