Indiana Tells Supreme Court: Let Us Defund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 30, 2020   |   6:33PM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to allow states to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion chain through Medicaid.

In a brief filed with 18 other states, Hill said states should be granted their rightful authority to refuse to allow abortion facilities to be Medicaid providers, according to The Indiana Lawyer. He urged the Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings that force states to fund the nation’s largest abortion chain.

“The Medicaid Act merely sets forth conditions under which states may receive Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government,” Hill said in a statement. “This legislation was never intended to restrict the authority of states to manage their own Medicaid programs. It was never meant to establish enforceable rights among abortion providers and women obtaining abortions.”

Indiana is one of many states that took action to defund Planned Parenthood because of its life-destroying practices and scandal after scandal involving alleged Medicaid fraud, the sales of aborted baby body parts, botched abortions, discrimination against pregnant employees and more.

Planned Parenthood reported more than 345,000 abortions last year and $1.6 billion in revenue, including more than half a billion from taxpayers. A large part of the tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives come through Medicaid.

In recent years, state and federal lawmakers have attempted to defund the abortion chain numerous times. When their laws and policies passed, Planned Parenthood responded with lawsuits. In many cases, courts have sided with the abortion chain.

Hill’s brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to make a final decision on the matter and to restore states’ rights to control Medicaid funds.

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“The Medicaid Act is not a civil-rights statute imposing duties and restraints on States with respect to healthcare financing,” the brief states. “Rather, it creates a program that States may use to finance their own healthcare benefits for the poor and disabled. . . . States have substantial discretion to design and administer their Medicaid programs within broad federal guidelines.”

The brief urges the high court to overturn a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood through Medicaid.

Here’s more from The Indiana Lawyer:

Hill now argues several Supreme Court justices have acknowledged inconsistencies in lower court precedents involving the issue in recent years. …

The Indiana-led brief asks the Supreme Court to clarify whether abortion providers like Planned Parenthood may sue states to be deemed qualified Medicaid providers.

Other states involved in the brief include Nebraska, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Last fall, the Fourth Circuit ruled against South Carolina leaders’ efforts to defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.

In 2018, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order instructing the state Department of Health and Human Services to “terminate abortion clinics as Medicaid providers.” He described Planned Parenthood as a “blemish on the great character of the people of South Carolina and this country.”

Planned Parenthood challenged the order in court, and a judge blocked the state from enforcing the order a few months later.

The Post and Courier reports the Fourth Circuit agreed with the judge’s ruling in October 2019, arguing that Medicaid recipients have the freedom to choose a health care provider.

The state “did not contend that PPSAT (Planned Parenthood South Atlantic) was providing subpar service to its Medicaid patients, or to any other patients,” the ruling states. “Instead, PPSAT was terminated solely because it performed abortions outside of the Medicaid program.”