The state of Arkansas has filed a lengthy brief in federal court asking federal Judge Kristine Baker not to enjoin the state from cutting Planned Parenthood’s two clinics in Arkansas off the Medicaid program.
The judge’s temporary restraining order expires Friday. She’s expected to rule on a request for a preliminary injunction then. She had said earlier that Planned Parenthood seemed likely to succeed on the merits of its claim.
The state disputes that. Much of its main argument continues the argument that Planned Parenthood has no standing to sue over the state’s reason to bar it from Medicaid for “cause,” the unproven allegations by doctored videos produced by an anti-abortion group about practices in other states by Planned Parenthood affiliates, though not the organization that operates in Arkansas. The state differentiates this case from other states with similar losing claims because they barred to Medicaid to all providers of abortion. As a practical matter, that’s what Arkansas did, however. There are only three abortion providers in Arkansas, the two Planned Parenthood clinics and a clinic that provides surgical abortion, but it doesn’t receive Medicaid funding.
The state also argues that Jane Doe plaintiffs in the case couldn’t name medical professionals who’d provided them services at Planned Parenthood and thus the decision didn’t disrupt close relationships with patients and doctors.