Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another court strikes down state punishment of Planned Parenthood

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 7:08 AM

click to enlarge ANOTHER COURT WIN: Planned Parenthood succeeds in challenge to Utah restriction on Medicaid funding for health exams.
  • ANOTHER COURT WIN: Planned Parenthood succeeds in challenge to Utah restriction on Medicaid funding for health exams.
Add the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to the list of courts that has struck down laws like that adopted in Arknasas to deprive Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood because politicians disapprove of the organization's abortion services. The money cut off is not for medical exams, but for a range of other health services, mostly for women.

A district judge has temporarily blocked a similar money blockade in Arkansas, directed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The latest court ruling concerns Utah. There, as in Arkansas and other states, the money cutoffs have been defended on the basis of dishonest videos circulated about Planned Parenthood by an anti-abortion group. The videos concerned legal use of fetal tissue at two Planned Parenthood affiliates, neither in Arkansas (or Utah).

The Circuit Court noted that the funding cutoff was based on misinformation and that it was designed to punish the organization for engaging in a legal activity. The cutoffs have harmed public health, by reducing availability of contraception and medical exams for poor women.

You could easily substitute Arkansas and Hutchinson for the state and state official named in the Utah case.

T
he 10th Circuit further noted that prior to Herbert’s defunding order, “at no time has UDOH [Utah Department of Health] complained about the services provided by PPAU, or otherwise claimed that PPAU was not qualified to provide services.” The opinion further explained that not only had PPAU won competitive contracts from the state on multiple occasions but the amount provided through those grants had also been increased in exchange for continuing service.

As the court concluded, Herbert “more likely than not” put politics above program effectiveness when making his decision to block PPAU’s funding:

Considering all of this evidence together, we conclude that a reasonable finder of fact is more likely than not to find that Herbert issued the Directive to punish PPAU for the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights it has identified in this litigation. In particular, we conclude that a reasonable finder of fact is more likely than not to find that Herbert, a politician and admitted opponent of abortion, viewed the situation that presented itself by release of the CMP videos as an opportunity to take public action against PPAU, deprive it of pass-through federal funding, and potentially weaken the organization and hamper its ability to provide and advocate for abortion services.
Facts and law won't trump the religion that is driving Asa Hutchinson, Leslie Rutledge and the Republican majority legislature to limit medical services for women.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Most Viewed

  • Poore announces school closure plans in Little Rock

    With a healthy number of unhappy school district residents on hand, Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore announced today his plans for closure of school facilities said to be required to balance the budget as state desegregation aid ends and enrollment drops with movement of students to charter and other schools.
  • Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence

    President Obama included the shortening of the 35-year sentence given Chelsea Manning for delivering classified U.S. information to WikiLeaks, including video of a U.S. helicopter attack on Iraqi civilians.
  • Bill for healthy food stamp purchases approved in committee

    Republican Rep. Mary Bentley got House Public Health Committee approval today for her HB 1035 to prevent use of food stamps for purchase of unhealthy food, a measure likely to prevent use of the supplemental nutrition benefit for soft drinks, candy and the like.
  • Donald Trump's insurance plan: Miracle worker or fool?

    Ernest Dumas writes of hope that Donald Trump IS a miracle workers. What if he really could deliver universal health insurance at lower cost?
  • Tuesday's open line and the news roundup

    Here's the open line and a roundup of news and comment.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation