URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-gets-key-win-from-8th-circuit/
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a state has the right to defund Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 ruling specifically provided that while plaintiff Medicaid recipients who brought the suit are entitled to care, they cannot dictate that care includes Planned Parenthood facilities.
“The plaintiffs are asserting a right — the absolute right to a particular provider of their choosing — that (the law) does not grant them,” Judge Steven Colloton wrote in the majority opinion.
Several states, including Arkansas, the defendant in the suit, voted to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of undercover videos that allegedly showed executives from the top abortion provider in the country discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
In April, Congress voted and President Donald Trump signed into law legislation guaranteeing states the right to defund Planned Parenthood, overriding an Obama administration Department of Health and Human Services regulation that had gone into effect two days before Trump took office. The regulation mandated that “states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services,” The New York Times reported.
In a statement, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson described the 8th Circuit Court’s ruling as “a substantial legal victory for the right of the state to determine whether Medicaid providers are acting in accordance with best practices, and affirms the prerogative of the state to make reasoned judgments on the Medicaid program.”
The 8th Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.
Planned Parenthood noted that it had won federal suits against other states that sought to defund the organization.
“To date, seven other states (Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) have sought to bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, and all have been blocked by federal courts,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
Louisiana has asked the 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, meaning all of the justices (rather than just three) would preside. The differing rulings between the eighth and other circuit courts make it more likely the Supreme Court will take up the matter.
“This is not over,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America chief medical officer Raegan McDonald-Mosley. “We will do everything in our power to protect our patients’ access to birth control, cancer screenings and other lifesaving care. Extreme politicians are trying to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood — and this is not what Americans want.”
Jerry Cox, the executive director of the Family Council, an Arkansas-based conservative group, told public radio station KUAR, “The videos aside, the question is should the state of Arkansas do business with an organization that aborts babies, when they don’t need to.”