Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast has gone to federal court to prevent enforcement of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s order that the state not allow payments under Medicaid for gynecological services provided by Planned Parenthood.
The federal government itself has warned states that stopping Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for such legal services could jeopardize their Medicaid programs. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has issued a similar order to take effect next month. For now, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which operates here, has said only that it is considering its options. Its leader and legal counsel are scheduled to be in Arkansas soon and an announcement may follow that visit.
Arkansas has no more legal ground to stop payments for legitimate medical services to poor women than any of the other states that have tried. Planned Parenthood funding is opposed because it provides abortions (in Arkansas only in the first nine weeks by means of drugs that induce miscarries). The battle has been inflamed by undercover videos misleadingly presented to attempt to show that Planned Parenthood profits from providing fetal tissue for important medical research. It disputes that and, as yet, no evidence of illegal commerce has emerged.
Indiana and Arizona have lost past court battles to stop Planned Parenthood funding. The money does not pay for abortions.