Arkansas taxpayers won another victory in court Monday when a federal judge rejected Planned Parenthood’s argument against defunding it of Medicaid dollars.
Arkansas moved to strip the abortion chain of taxpayer dollars in 2015 after undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade. The abortion chain sued, but in November, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a victory to the state.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker also ruled against the abortion group by rejecting its new request for a preliminary injunction against the state, Arkansas Online reports.
Baker is the same judge who initially sided with Planned Parenthood in 2015.
Here’s more from the report:
[N]early a year ago, on Aug. 16, a divided three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis vacated both of Baker’s preliminary injunctions, which were based on the clinics’ arguments that the termination violated the plaintiffs’ rights to obtain health-care services from the provider of their choosing.
The 8th Circuit panel said that federal law doesn’t create an enforceable federal right for individual patients.
That prompted Planned Parenthood to pursue a new preliminary injunction under alternative grounds. Those grounds — that in denying the use of state and federal funds to cover services for poor and disabled people, the state was violating those people’s equal protection rights guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, and that the termination was intended to penalize the provider for advocating for reproductive freedom and/or associating with abortion, in violation of the First Amendment — were rejected by Baker late Monday afternoon.
Though frustrated by the ruling, an attorney for Planned Parenthood in Arkansas said they will not give up.
“We are going to keep fighting,” attorney Bettina Brownstein said. “They’re never going to beat us.”
In 2015, Planned Parenthood received more than $51,000 in taxpayer-funded Medicaid payments in Arkansas. In 2017, its facilities saw about 750 Medicaid patients and received taxpayer funds for those visits, according to Arkansas Online. Even though the funding does not go to abortions directly, it frees up money in the abortion chain’s budget to promote and perform abortions.
When the state defunded the abortion business in 2015, Gov. Asa Hutchinson expressed his outrage at the abortion chain’s barbaric practices.
“It is apparent that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state, and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them. This includes their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma,” the governor said at the time.
Hutchinson said he decided to end their contracts after videos surfaced showing top Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts, admitting to altering abortion procedures to procure better organs for harvesting and casually discussing ways their doctors can “crush” unborn babies to better obtain fully intact body parts.
Late last year, Judd Deere, a spokesman for state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, emphasized to the Democrat Gazette the importance of states being allowed to cut of tax dollars to groups engaging in unethical practices.
The 8th Circuit Court ruling “reaffirms that Planned Parenthood and the three patients it recruited could not contest in federal court Arkansas’s determination that a medical provider has engaged in misconduct that merits disqualification from the Medicaid program,” Deere said in November.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in the United States, performing more than 320,000 abortions on unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.