On Wednesday, Arkansas became one of only a handful of states to block Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, despite several years of whistleblower video evidence depicting the nation’s largest abortion provider violating federal law and trafficking in human body parts.
Politico reports “The ruling Wednesday by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacates preliminary injunctions from a federal judge that required the state to continue Medicaid payments following legal challenges brought by three patients challenging Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s 2015 decision to end the state’s Medicaid contract with the women’s health group.”
Although approximately 15 states have recently attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, few have succeeded. Alabama and Missouri ended their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, and Ohio and Wisconsin restricted how Medicaid could fund the organization.
Many states moved to defund the Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) unveiled a series of videos which revealed the abortion provider was illegally selling parts of aborted babies for profit and altering its abortion procedures in violation of federal law in order to obtain “intact” human body parts. Now, two years later, the effect of those sting operations continues to ricochet.
In their ruling, federal judges in the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals specifically cited these videos as the reason Arkansas moved to end its contract with Medicaid: “The Arkansas Department of Human Services terminated its Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma after the release of controversial video recordings involving other Planned Parenthood affiliates.”
In a statement to The Federalist, CMP founder David Daleiden said, “The American people, who are shocked and scandalized by undercover video of senior Planned Parenthood leadership callously negotiating the harvesting and sale of aborted baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains, should not be forced to prop up Planned Parenthood’s criminal abortion empire with half-a-billion tax dollars each year. If activist district judges continue to twist the law to protect Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, they can expect to be struck down by more reasonable appeals courts, as has happened today.”
Although this decision will likely be appealed, it should encourage pro-life advocacy groups in other states who have attempted this and failed. Federal judges in states including Texas, Kansas, and Louisiana have all ruled against blocking Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. The ruling also demonstrates why the Senate should approve President Trump’s qualified list of judicial nominations, including several for federal appeals courts, as soon as possible.
Kudos are due to the state of Arkansas and the pro-life community for pushing forward more than two years after damning evidence of Planned Parenthood’s corrupt practices and needless federal funding came to light.