Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are fighting back against another state law that could take taxpayer dollars away from abortion businesses.
On Thursday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood challenging a new Arizona law that would allow the state to cut off Medicaid funding to abortion groups that fail to segregate taxpayer money from funds used for abortions, according to the Associated Press. Under the new accountability law, abortion groups also could lose funding if they violate medical waste rules, submit a claim for abortion-related procedures, or fail to follow mandatory reporting laws on sexual assault in Arizona.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU is arguing that the Arizona law interferes with the right of Medicaid patients to get health care where they want to. Planned Parenthood officials also have claimed that none of the taxpayer money they receive goes toward abortions, though some of their former workers say the abortion business does not segregate the funds.
Jason Walsh of Arizona Right to Life said Arizonans don’t want their tax dollars to go to abortion groups. He said the new lawsuit is just another one of abortion activists’ attempts to skirt around the will of the public.
“The people of Arizona have spoken through their representatives, and they do not want abortion providers to receive a nickel of state or federal funds,” Walsh told LifeNews. “Again and again, the topic of abortion has been removed from the court of public opinion and the proper legislative channels and has been monopolized by unelected and unaccountable judges and justices.
“Suing the state of Arizona on this matter is just another attempt to usurp the voice of the people. This unchecked judicial overreach must end or be ignored,” he continued.
Here’s more from Tuscson.com about the lawsuit:
Attorney Jennifer Lee of the American Civil Liberties Union said she is asking U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver to prevent the statute from taking effect Aug. 6. No hearing has yet been set.
…Attorneys for the challengers claim the statute is flawed.
First, it does not define exactly what it means to “segregate taxpayer dollars from abortions, including the use of taxpayer dollars for any overhead expenses attributable to abortions.”
And then there’s the fact that the AHCCCS director can terminate or suspend participation in the Medicaid program with just 24 hours’ notice.
“Unless enjoined, this impermissible requirement threatens to exclude the provider plaintiffs from the Medicaid program, thereby restricting their ability to provide — and their patients’ … ability to access — vital women’s health services,” the lawsuit states.
State lawmakers previously tried to de-fund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood; however, the abortion group challenged the law and courts later struck it down.
Arizona state Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, who sponsored the legislation, said it will ensure that abortion groups are obeying current laws.
“I think that it is appropriate that there is an enforcement mechanism to ensure that that law is not being violated, that it is being obeyed,” Olson said at a Feb. 24 hearing on the legislation. “This bill does not target anybody. If you’re not following the law, you’re not going to be a qualified provider.”
This spring, LifeNews reported Arizona lawmakers also passed a measure, Arizona Senate Bill 1485, to ban abortion groups from the state employee charitable giving program. The ban is a continuation of a move last year by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to kick out Planned Parenthood from the program. In 2014, the abortion business’s Arizona affiliate received about $7,250 from state employees through the program, according to news reports.