On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled that Kansas cannot deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities, after Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and a Planned Parenthood St. Louis regional affiliate sued to stop the action.
The state Department of Health and Environment had intended to block the funding, citing the abortion giant’s over-billing of Medicaid in other states, as well as the ongoing scandal over the sale of aborted baby parts.
Pro-life Republican Governor Sam Brownback announced the move in January, declaring, “The time has come to finish the job” of defunding Planned Parenthood.
But Robinson wrote that doing so would deny Medicaid patients’ “explicit right to seek family planning services from the qualified provider of their choice,” and that Kansas would likely be found to have violated the Medicaid Act’s free-choice provider provision.
Brownback’s administration has been undeterred by the news, with spokeswoman Eileen Hawley announcing, “The Governor will continue the fight to make Kansas a pro-life state. We will review today’s preliminary ruling and move forward with the litigation.”
Numerous states have attempted to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal Medicaid funds, for which the Obama Administration has threatened them they were breaking the law.
However, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox argues states like Kansas are acting completely within their rightful discretion: “In the last two decades or so, about 9,000 providers [were] excluded from Medicaid. In most of those cases, they’re completely uncontroversial.”