A federal court told Louisiana on Wednesday that it must continue giving taxpayer dollars to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reports.
Last summer, Planned Parenthood went to court in an attempt to preserve its taxpayer funding after Louisiana lawmakers cut off its taxpayer-funded contract. State lawmakers moved to de-fund the abortion chain after a series of undercover videos revealed potentially illegal activity involving Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted babies’ body parts.
In October 2015, a federal judge temporarily blocked the state’s decision, allowing the taxpayer funding to continue flowing to the abortion chain. On Wednesday, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s order, the AP reports.
In its lawsuit, Planned Parenthood accused the de-funding effort of being “politically motivated” and claimed that it would cut off women’s access to health care. Even thought hundreds of other health care options exist for the small number of women who get non-abortion health care at Planned Parenthood, the judges agreed with Planned Parenthood’s claim that de-funding it would somehow strip them of their health care.
Here’s more from the report:
Among Planned Parenthood’s arguments was that women who use its Medicaid-funded services have the right to choose the provider of such care under federal law. In upholding deGravelles’ injunction, the appeals court said Planned Parenthood and its clients would likely win at trial on that issue.
The three-judge appellate panel rejected several state arguments that Planned Parenthood was “unqualified” to provide the care.
“Because the Individual Plaintiffs would otherwise be denied both access to a much needed medical provider and the legal right to the qualified provider of their choice, we agree that they will almost certainly suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction,” Judge Jacques Wiener wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. The other members were judges Priscilla Owen and Edward Prado.
A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General Jeff Landry said they are reviewing the ruling. She did not say whether the state plans to appeal.
Planned Parenthood celebrated the court’s decision, claiming it as a victory for their abortion business. Its CEO Cecile Richards tweeted about the news:
BREAKING: 5th Circuit rules that Louisiana cannot block access to care at Planned Parenthood for Medicaid patients! 🙌 💯 👏
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) September 14, 2016
In August 2015, former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal canceled a state contract with Planned Parenthood that provides the abortion company with family planning funding through Medicaid. Planned Parenthood quickly sued to block the move.
After the expose’ showed Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies, then Gov. 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.”
Louisiana lawmakers have not given up. In May, they passed a bill to defunding groups like Planned Parenthood that do abortions. HB 606 ensures that businesses and organizations that perform abortions cannot receive taxpayer dollars, even for other purposes.