“Planned Parenthood had been on a legal winning streak, piling up decisions from judges who have ruled that states can’t stop the country’s largest abortion clinic network from receiving federal grant money.
But they suffered a major setback last week when a federal appeals court ruled that Arkansas can kick Planned Parenthood out of its network of Medicaid-approved health providers.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Medicaid recipients are entitled to care, but cannot dictate to the states where they get that care — meaning Planned Parenthood customers can’t protest the removal of the network from Arkansas’s list of approved clinics.
“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.
Planned Parenthood can still protest its removal through the regular administrative process, but its customers can’t force it to be added back into the mix of medical services providers, the court said in the 2-1 ruling.
That’s at odds with rulings in a number of other appeals courts, which said the Medicaid Act prohibits states from cutting out providers without giving sufficient cause….
Planned Parenthood said the 8th Circuit’s ruling on Arkansas’s policy was an “extreme departure” from other court rulings and the organization is evaluating all options to make sure its patients can continue to access its services.
“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,” the clinic network said in a statement.
Louisiana, part of the 5th Circuit, has asked the entire appeals court to rehear its loss. Texas is also appealing.
Like Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana barred Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding after the videos from the Center of Medical Progress went viral.” (Excerpted from The Washington Times, reporting by Alex Swoyer.)
Give thanks to the Lord for the wisdom given to the 8th Circuit Court.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)