Court Rules Arizona Can't Cut Planned Parenthood Out Of Medicaid

August 23, 2013

A federal appeals court has ruled the state cannot cut Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid program just because it also provides abortions.

State and federal law already ban public funding for elective abortions. But state lawmakers voted last year to block Planned Parenthood from getting any money for the family planning services it provides for Medicaid recipients.

Proponents argued any money the organization gets from the state effectively subsidizes abortions.

But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said federal law allows Medicaid recipients to get services from any qualified provider. And the judges said there is no question but that Planned Parenthood is qualified to perform services ranging from gynecological exams to contraceptive counseling.

Attorney Steve Aden from the Alliance Defending Freedom, who asked the court on behalf of the state to uphold the law, say the judges got it wrong.

“We respectfully believe that the court failed to take proper regard to the state’s responsibility and authority to craft a Medicaid program that avoids subsidizing elective abortion as the will of majority of Arizona citizens desires,” Aden said.

He says his organization, a Christian law firm that opposes abortions, is weighing its next legal move.

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