Federal Court Rules Texas and Louisiana Can Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 24, 2020   |   10:05AM   |   Washington, DC

A federal appeals court late Monday ruled that Texas and Louisiana can defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a ruling overturning a lower federal court’s decision and upheld the right of both states to cut off taxpayer funding to America’s biggest abortion company via its Medicaid funds. Although the decision is a massive pro-life victory for the states and will help protect the rights of pro-life Americans from funding the abortion industry and save unborn children from abortions, the abortion giant is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

As the Associated Press reports, this decision was made possible by President Donald Trump naming a new judge to the federal appellate court who broke a tie in a previous ruling.

“The decision by the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reverses an earlier ruling by a three-judge appellate panel that blocked Texas from enforcing its ban on Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood. It also expressly reversed a ruling in a separate case blocking Louisiana from banning Planned Parenthood funding. A three-judge panel in 2015 had ruled against the ban and that decision stood when the full court deadlocked 7-7 in 2017, when there were only 14 active judges on the court,” it reported.

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“The court’s personnel has changed since then. Six nominees of Republican President Donald Trump now sit on the court. Four of them participated in Monday’s case (one was recused and another joined the court too late to take part) and all four joined Judge Priscilla Owen’s opinion for an 11-member majority,” it added.

Writing for the majority, Justice Owen said federal law “unambiguously provides that a Medicaid beneficiary has the right to obtain services from the qualified provider of her choice,” but added that it “does not unambiguously say that a beneficiary may contest or otherwise challenge a determination that the provider of her choice is unqualified.”

“These provisions make clear that a state agency may determine that a Medicaid provider is unqualified and terminate its Medicaid provider agreement even if the provider is lawfully permitted to provide health services to the general public,” Owen wrote.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded Monday’s ruling and noted how undercover videos had shown Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies — a practice he called “morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct.”

“Undercover video plainly showed Planned Parenthood admitting to morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct, including violations of federal law by manipulating the timing and methods of abortions to obtain fetal tissue for their own research,” Paxton said in the statement. “Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program.”

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.

Currently, Planned Parenthood receives about $3.1 million a year in taxpayer funding through Medicaid in Texas.

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.