A federal court gave Texas the ok Thursday to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas may stop giving Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America. Its ruling reversed a lower court decision blocking the state from defunding Planned Parenthood of about $3.1 million in tax dollars, the Washington Examiner reports.
Texas tried to end Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding through Medicaid in 2016, but the abortion giant sued. The state cited evidence of fraudulent over-billing and potentially illegal sales of aborted baby body parts as reasons for ending the contract.
“Texas Right to Life applauds the decision of the Fifth Circuit to allow the state of Texas to determine the proper use of taxpayer funds and what constitutes qualified medical providers,” the pro-life group said in a statement Friday. “The Fifth Circuit opinion identified errors made by the district court in their zeal to prevent the state of Texas from enacting policies that protect Texas women and their preborn children.”
Here’s more from the report:
Judge Edith H. Jones, a Reagan appointee, wrote that the district court that issued the injunction erred in overruling the state’s determination that Planned Parenthood should lose funding, saying that “its procedure was incompatible with the proper standard.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision in a statement Thursday evening.
“The 5th Circuit’s ruling shows that the district court applied the wrong legal standard,” Paxton said. “Planned Parenthood’s reprehensible conduct, captured in undercover videos, proves that it is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, so we are confident we will ultimately prevail.”
The case is not over, but the ruling Thursday means Texas can stop giving money to Planned Parenthood while the lawsuit moves forward.
Lawyers for the state pointed to undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress from 2015 that show Planned Parenthood employees admitting abortionists modify abortion procedures to better harvest aborted baby body parts for research, according to KVUE.
The abortion chain also is under investigation by federal authorities in regard to these findings. In late 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating whether the abortion chain illegally sold aborted baby body parts.
Texas Right to Life reported more about the lawsuit in 2017:
Texas officials moved to terminate Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood in 2015 based on evidence of violations of patient safety and the illegal trafficking of body parts from aborted babies. Additionally, the Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr. cited numerous abuses of Texas taxpayers through Medicaid fraud. Affiliates across the state have committed Medicaid fraud to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. In one case, the group only had to furnish fifteen cents for every dollar they stole from taxpayers.
Currently, Planned Parenthood receives about $3.1 million a year in taxpayer funding through Medicaid in Texas, according to the Review.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, aborting approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers. At the federal level, President Donald Trump and his administration also have been cutting off various streams of funding to abortion groups.
Kansas, Arkansas and Louisiana also are involved in court battles to defund the abortion giant.
Early last year, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said Kansas cannot defund Planned Parenthood, despite an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into its aborted baby body parts trade.
However, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a similar effort by Arkansas to defund the abortion chain in 2017. Because of the circuit split, pro-life groups thought that the Supreme Court would take up the case. However, the high court refused in late December.