Dec. 11, 2018
Many are upset at the Supreme Court’s decision to not review a set of cases that could have brought clarity to whether an individual has the right to sue their state government for withholding Medicaid funds from certain healthcare providers, some of which included Planned Parenthood. As pro-lifers think back to January 2018, we remember when President Trump rescinded Obama-era guidance that had made it harder for states to defund abortion-performing entities like Planned Parenthood. So, what just happened?
After undercover videos were released in 2015 that showed Planned Parenthood selling the remains of aborted baby parts, several states moved to defund them by withholding Medicaid funds. Pro-abortion individuals and Planned Parenthood themselves began to sue many of the states for this action. In 2016, pro-abortion President Obama took precautions and issued guidance that basically tried to scare states into not defunding entities that performed abortions, telling them they could be in violation of the law if they did so.
In reality, due to the Hyde Amendment, Medicaid dollars cannot go towards paying for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment, and most states follow this federal standard, although they do have the option to cover abortion using explicitly “state” Medicaid funds. However, Medicaid money is fungible for entities that perform other services aside from abortions, which many Americans do not like and thus have already made it clear that they do not want their tax dollars entangled with the abortion business.
Cases involving state attempts to defund entities like Planned Parenthood were split on the question of whether an individual has the right to sue states for withdrawing such funding. When cases involving Kansas and Louisiana’s attempts to withdraw this funding reached the Supreme Court, many were looking to the Court to bring clarity to this issue—but they did not. Instead, they just kicked the can down the road to be resolved another day. And no doubt that day for resolution will come. The underlying question to settle is whether states have the right to decide how to best use their Medicaid dollars.
However, it’s important to remember that the Supreme Court’s decision to punt this to another day does not block and nor should it discourage states from their pursuits to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate their Medicaid funds to better healthcare options for women. President Trump’s action rescinding President Obama’s 2016 guidance freed states from the fear of federal government punishment if they decided to defund entities like Planned Parenthood, and states should continue to capitalize on this.
We will not forget the horrific scandals of Planned Parenthood that brought us to this place to begin with. From committing over a third of the nation’s abortions, to Medicaid fraud, botched abortions, declining services, and participation in the sale of aborted baby parts, Planned Parenthood is not a place that should qualify as healthcare and does not deserve our tax dollars. For every Planned Parenthood, there are 20 more qualified federal healthcare centers that do not perform abortions and yet provide more services for women. Let’s use them!