Federal Judge says Alabama must restore PPFA’s Medicaid funding

By Dave Andrusko

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (AP Photo/Phillip Rawls)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (AP Photo/Phillip Rawls)

On Wednesday U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, the same judge who overturned an Alabama law that required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, ordered the state to immediately restore Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

In August, Gov. Robert Bentley had written

“The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama. As a doctor and Alabama’s governor, the issue of human life, from conception to birth and beyond, is extremely important. I respect human life and do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not.”

Days later Planned Parenthood Southeast and a Medicaid recipient (identified only as “Jane Doe”) filed a lawsuit. Planned Parenthood Southeast operates two clinics–one in Birmingham and one in Mobile.

Yesterday, in a 66-page decision, Judge Thompson issued an order that temporarily bars Alabama from cutting off Medicaid contracts with the group’s clinics in Alabama.

“In granting the preliminary injunction, Thompson wrote that Jane Doe was very likely to prevail on her claim that the termination of the provider agreement violated the Medicaid Act,” according to reporter Mike Cason.

“I am disappointed, and vehemently disagree with the Court’s ruling today,” Gov. Bentley said in a statement issued Wednesday. “We are reviewing the opinion and will determine the next legal steps within the appeal period.”

Among other considerations Judge Thompson cited for his decision was that “The parties do not dispute that no employee or representative of Planned Parenthood Southeast is depicted in these videos and that PPSE does not participate in fetal-tissue donation, and never has.”

CMP refers to the Center for Medical Progress which, to date, has released eleven undercover videos largely of Planned Parenthood officials and representatives of tissue procurement companies, which act as middlemen between the abortion clinics and researchers seeking whole baby body parts.

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