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Appeals Court Sides With Texas in Effort to Bar Planned Parenthood From Medicaid in ‘Sting Videos’ Case

Should Planned Parenthood lose access to Medicaid funding?

by Countable | 1.18.19

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday unanimously overturned a district court ruling that blocked Texas from making Planned Parenthood ineligible for Medicaid funding while litigation over the matter proceeds.

Texas first moved to bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid in 2015 after graphic, undercover video released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the alteration of abortion procedures to allow the collection and use of fetal organs in research. It’s a violation of federal law to alter abortion procedures to preserve fetal tissue for research.

Here’s how the Circuit Court panel described part of the video used by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General to justify its decision to terminate Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for Medicaid funding:

Dr. Nguyen confirmed that the [Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast] abortion facility can obtain intact liver and thymus. The doctor stated, sarcastically, that while federal law (prohibiting partial birth abortions) restricts a facility from intentionally retrieving an intact fetus, PPGC can make it happen by signing a form that they did not so “intend.” Nguyen also stated that obtaining intact specimens of liver, thymus, and neural tissue depends upon the amount of cervical dilation of the patient and the patient’s pain tolerance. The doctor noted risks associated with fetal tissue procurement that PPGC is willing to take because “it is for a good cause.”

Planned Parenthood’s employees denied altering abortion procedures for research purposes. And while the district judge also suggested the videos hadn’t been authenticated and might’ve been edited, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out that assertion is inaccurate:

“In fact, the record reflects that OIG had submitted a report from a forensic firm concluding that the video was authentic and not deceptively edited. And the plaintiffs did not identify any particular omission or addition in the video footage.”

What are parties to the case saying?

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, offered the following statement on the ruling:

“The 5th Circuit’s ruling shows that the district court applied the wrong legal standard. Planned Parenthood’s reprehensible conduct, captured in undercover videos, proves that it is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, so we are confident we will ultimately prevail.”

Ken Lambrecht, the president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told the AP:

“We’re in court to protect our patients’ right to choose thier healthcare, rather than let politicians decide where Texans can go for healthcare. We’ll continue to stand up for our patients and their ability to choose their healthcare provider.”

What’s next for the case?

Thursday’s decision by the Fifth Circuit holds that the district court failed to use the correct legal standard in reviewing the case, and sends it back to district court to be re-tried using the proper “arbitrary and capricious” standard ― which is more deferential to actions taken by agencies.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / ozgurdonmax)



Countable

Written by Countable

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(160)
  • TrulyTexan
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Stop bowing down to the sharia law of the religious right. The sting videos were faked and the anti women groups need to go far away.

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  • Tooluser1
    Voted Yes
    01/18/2019
    ···

    Medicaid's *purpose* is to keep people ALIVE. Abortion does the opposite. The two are mutually exclusive.

    Like (29)
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  • Ken
    01/19/2019
    ···

    In the beginning God created man. Man and woman he created. It seems as though almost from the beginning woman has been subject to man. No boundaries for man. A man can treat his wife however he pleases. Commit adultry, beat her, anything he feels would keep her in her place. Do you really think that's the kind of man and wife relationship that God intended. Women are not property. Don't treat them as such. What responsibility do you think men should have here. NONE?

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  • Dara
    Voted No
    01/18/2019
    ···

    I grow increasingly incensed with the archaic thinking of male judges. We have law, Roe v Wade, accept it and move on. Stop trying to take us backwards. Women make choices for their own healthcare. The religious zealots must be made to respect separation of church and state for this reason. Your religious beliefs are an infringement on my healthcare choices.

    Like (44)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Yes
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Sadly YES....... CUT FUNDING........ As for me, as long as Planned Parenthood facilitates and advocates abortion procedures, funding should be denied/declined until further notice. SneakyPete......... 🛑 🛑 🛑🛑. 1*18*19.........

    Like (23)
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  • Joan
    01/21/2019
    ···

    The 'pro-life' people only are until the life is born, then it's on it's own.

    Like (6)
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  • Nicole
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Women need access to all kinds of medical care through planned parenthood. I am in favor of planned parenthood getting Medicare access!

    Like (27)
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  • Kimberly
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Planned Parenthood provides healthcare in areas that need it most. Stop taking away healthcare, you monsters.

    Like (23)
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  • Mark
    Voted Yes
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Roe vs. Wade IS NOT settled law. Owning slaves used to be legal as well. Lynching blacks in the Democrat dominated Deep South was once legal too. Roe vs. Wade will be struck down for the simple reason that it murders helpless children and wrecks the lives of nearly a million American women each year. It is not healthcare. It’s murder. I know it, you know it and most importantly GOD knows it.

    Like (20)
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  • Dave
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    The so call white racist evangelical Christian are hypocrite. They support the most evil un-godly president in the history of the United States. Marriages three times, divorced twice, has five children with three women and accused for paying off porn and playboy models, grab women by the pu- - and brags about it, plus lies at ever chance and that all seem to be OK? This is what Karen and Mike pence support and the Republican base. God got a special place in hell for all. First of all no tax payers money goes to abortion!

    Like (19)
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  • JTJ
    Voted Yes
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Defund planned parenthood entirely. If the dems are so compassionate, they can fund it themselves as a charity.

    Like (17)
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  • Carrie
    Voted No
    01/18/2019
    ···

    It’s almost impossible to imagine how uneducated uneducated people are. I grew up in SD, where we received an incredible education in public school in the 80’s, but I knew about the kids from evangelical schools. They either weren’t intelligent or the super intelligent kids ended up not going to church, having premarital sex and being abandoned by their family and church. Even intelligent evangelicals have to play dumb to belong.

    Like (17)
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  • Glowurm
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Abortion is a medical procedure. A woman has a right to choose whichever medical procedures she needs. The government should cover all medical procedures. If they deny one, who’s to say which procedures might be denied next? Perhaps we woman should demand that any man who gets us pregnant, when we did not wish to be pregnant, not only has to pay for the FULL cost of raising that child to eighteen (roof over kid’s head, food, education, medical, etc.), as well as making the man then get a vasectomy, so he can never do that again! How would you assholes like that? And the woman who disagree, mind your own damn business. God would want you to! On judgment day, I answer to God and no one else! Certainly not you fools. So, how many fucking times do we need to tell you that our bodies are not there for you to legislate what we can or cannot do, you motherfuckers! Last I checked, you were NOT Gods! You have no right to make decisions affecting my body!

    Like (14)
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  • Merry
    Voted No
    01/18/2019
    ···

    Texas is like a foreign country!!! Poor girl don’t get pregnant??? And don’t need financial help??? Pathetic, they will cross either a State or COUNTRY boarder to obtain affordable care.

    Like (13)
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  • Ira
    Voted No
    01/18/2019
    ···

    ... and the same old fight continues even though Roe v Wade was settled in 1973.

    Like (13)
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  • David
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    How do you explain to people unwilling to listen, let alone hear, the pain and cruelty they inflict on others by promulgating lies, distortions, and discrimination? It is wrong for men to be making decisions on women’s healthcare, and especially abortions, when abortions would not be necessary but for irresponsible men. Planned Parenthood provides services to women the state of Texas refuses to acknowledge even exist.

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  • Marinus
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Planned parenthood is a valuable no-cost-to-the-taxpayer healthcare provider. It is illegal unconscionable and plain stupid to prevent them from providing care that isn’t available elsewhere within reasonable distances

    Like (12)
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  • Jim2423
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    So many do gooders do not realize the good Planned Parenthood really does for young expecting parents who may not be married. Our culture is becoming so high and mighty righteous SOB’s. You really forget who Medicaid really helps. You are some righteous pious clowns. If you really felt there was a god you would not pass this type of legislation. Also Congress has to remember the 14th Amendment-1. Citizens Rights

    Like (11)
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  • Alfonso
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Planned parenthood should remain accesible!

    Like (10)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    Planned parenthood incredible healthcare services for men and women. Applying any oppressive tactics, restrictions, because of religious or fraternal beliefs, is unethical, immoral and illegal. Supporting almost any policy from Texas, is a crime against the Country and the State. We are now treading on dangerous waters when we have Supreme Court justices creating law and policy. This appears to be in line with the whole “ Do not tread on me” doctrine. This nation is being consumed/ devoured by the same Conservatism that is destroying the Middle East and Africa. It is a disease that destroys everything in its path.

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  • Donna
    Voted No
    01/19/2019
    ···

    This makes me crazy! No one, especially some religious man, has any right or business butting their nose in to any woman’s personal medical decisions. just mind your own damn business! Separation of church and state!!!!! I agree with this statement from Dara: I grow increasingly incensed with the archaic thinking of male judges. We have law, Roe v Wade, accept it and move on. Stop trying to take us backwards. Women make choices for their own healthcare. The religious zealots must be made to respect separation of church and state for this reason. Your religious beliefs are an infringement on my healthcare choices.

    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share