Judge Temporarily Bans Arkansas From Excluding Planned Parenthood From Medicaid Program

PPLITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal judge nominated to the bench by Barack Obama has temporarily banned officials in Arkansas from excluding the abortion giant Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program, stating that the exclusion would likely cause “irreparable harm” to prospective clients.

“Should the court fail to issue injunctive relief, members of the patient class will be denied their choice of provider for family planning services,” wrote U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker.

As previously reported, last August, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson directed the state Department of Human Services to terminate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood. He said that the decision was influenced by the Center for Medical Progress’ video exposes outlining Planned Parenthood’s alleged harvesting and sale of aborted baby organs.

“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,” Hutchinson outlined in a statement. “This includes their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.”

But Planned Parenthood opined that by revoking the agreement, states like Arkansas were aligning themselves with “extremists.”

“The politicians behind these reckless policies have allied themselves with extremists who will stop at nothing to end access to abortion—breaking laws, pushing misinformation, and violence and harassment of women and doctors,” it said.

It filed a federal lawsuit along with three anonymous plaintiffs, seeking an injunction against the state’s revocation of its inclusion in the Arkansas Medicaid program. Baker granted an injunction to the three specific complainants last October, but Planned Parenthood soon asked that the order be expanded to the entire state.

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On Thursday, Baker sided with the organization, opining that “harms” from excluding Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program “would affect the patient class as a whole.” The state had argued that women will not suffer since there are other providers in the state that provide women’s health and reproductive services.

“This is a win for the Arkansans who rely on Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for birth control, cancer screenings, and other essential health care,” Suzanna de Baca, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement. “Every person deserves access to quality, affordable health care from the provider they know and trust, and today, the court recognized that.”

But Attorney General Leslie Rutledge noted that the fight is not over.

“[Baker’s] order unfortunately allows Planned Parenthood to continue to use its patients to pad its bottom line at taxpayers’ expense,” she said in a statement. “Thankfully, the ultimate issues in this case will be decided by the Court of Appeals.”

As previously reported, in its annual report released at the end of December, Planned Parenthood outlined that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

As it has been in previous years, Planned Parenthood’s largest focus was sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), as it tested and/or treated over four million people for sexual ailments, with over 3.5 million tests and 32 thousand men and women being treated for ailments contracted through sexual activity.

Over 2.9 million people were provided with contraceptives or other forms of birth control in 2014—from temporary to permanent, including over 900 thousand emergency contraception kits. The figure is down from 3.5 million the year before, and 3.7 million in 2012.

Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms as it is not licensed to operate mammogram machines, and its annual report outlined that less than 700,000 women received services surrounding cancer screenings, equating to just seven percent of its services, while STD testing and contraceptives accounted for 76 percent of its services.

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  • Trilemma

    Planned Parenthood should not be excluded from Medicaid. As the article points out, the vast majority of their services are not abortion related. Fewer and fewer providers accept Medicaid these days so it doesn’t make sense to intentionally reduce that number. If contraception is harder to get the result will be even more women seeking abortions. If it’s harder to get treated for an STD then STD’s will spread more. Plus, Medicaid does not pay for abortions in Arkansas.

  • TheBottomline4This

    Abortion is never a right choice.
    If you don’t want a baby, don’t have sex. A judge in our area tells people if they don’t want a baby to keep their pants on. I think she’s right.
    If you don’t want a baby, use birth control.
    If you don’t want the baby you are pregnant with, let the child live and put the baby up for adoption or allow someone in your family/friends to adopt the baby.
    If the tragic situation of rape happens, it’s not the baby’s fault. Let the baby live and put the baby up for adoption.
    There is no reason to have a baby shredded to death just because you don’t want a baby.
    Those who want an abortion, should watch an abortion and see the results.
    The numbers would decline dramatically!!!

    • Trilemma

      Abortion could be the right choice if it’s needed to preserve the life or health of the woman.

      • TheBottomline4This

        The % on that is very low. I have known women who were told their life would be in danger if they continued with the pregnancy. All are alive along with their babies.
        One life isn’t any better than the next. I know as a parent I would be willing to die to save my children. But see, that’s the difference those who cry the life of the Mom phrases are not thinking from a selfless viewpoint.
        Too many these days are very self focused. Most Mom’s lives are just fine in a high risk pregnancy. Selflessness is sorely missing in today’s society. It’s all about me, me, me. What’s best for me…to hell with the baby. SMH

        • Trilemma

          Yes, the percentage is low. Once a woman has the risks explained to her, the choice needs to be hers to make and not made for her by the law. I’m glad things turned out okay for the women you know but the same results can’t be guaranteed for other women.

          • TheBottomline4This

            So, that doesn’t make murdering a baby ok. It boils down to self versus the life one is carrying. Some are willing to risk it, others aren’t. The latter are the selfish ones imho. The women who go ahead and face the risk and end up with both Mom and baby well are strong women compared to the other women. That is true courage and love.

        • the greedy boat

          you can make all the decisions you want for your own life. you will not be allowed to make this decisions for others.

          • TheBottomline4This

            Yet the others you want to have legally killed through abortions get no say. Those lives are nothing to you. What a heartless, selfish person you are. Your user name fits you well. Sad.

          • the greedy boat

            if the woman does not wish to carry her pregnancy to term she will not competed to do so. you will eventually come to terms with this truth.

          • TheBottomline4This

            I and others won’t come to terms with murder.
            It simply means the women who choose to kill their baby have wicked heart and character in general. These women are cowards and have no thought for anyone other than themselves. Unless they repent, they will spend an eternity in Hell for their evil choices. Murder is not a virtue. You are shameful in supporting the murder of babies. Sad.

          • the greedy boat

            your words change nothing. understand your sphere of influence and remain within it, you will feel better about your life. namaste.

          • TheBottomline4This

            Your ignorance is your bliss.

          • the greedy boat

            If that is what you need to tell yourself…

  • George Jenkins

    Since when does objecting to selling body parts from aborted babies classify one as an “extremist”?