FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 18, 2015
On Friday evening U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary restraining order forcing the State of Arkansas to maintain Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.
Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “What we’re talking about is the State’s freedom to decide to whom it will and will not give taxpayer dollars. Arkansans have made it very clear they do not want public funds going to abortion providers. Governor Hutchinson’s decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood is in keeping with that sentiment. This order forces the state do something voters don’t want to do, and that is award public dollars to an abortion provider.”
Cox noted the Governor’s decision to halt Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood came on the heels of a series of undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood officials allegedly discuss the sale of aborted fetal remains. “Planned Parenthood is facing inquiries from members of Congress. Many are speculating that what Planned Parenthood affiliates are doing—giving aborted babies to researchers in exchange for money—is against federal law. And it’s worth noting that recent polling by CNN shows most Americans believe abortion ought to be illegal in all but a few cases. In light of all of this, it’s understandable the State of Arkansas would have reservations about distributing public dollars to Planned Parenthood.”
Cox pointed out that few of the other services Planned Parenthood offers are controversial. “Planned Parenthood claims abortion accounts for only three-percent of what it does. Abortion is the only service Planned Parenthood offers that Americans find highly controversial. If abortion really is such a small part of their work—and if receiving public funds is so important to them—then, to me, there’s an obvious solution: Stop performing abortions.”
Cox said this case could have an impact on the state’s future ability to determine how Medicaid contracts are handled. “At stake here is whether or not the State of Arkansas has discretion in how it awards things like Medicaid reimbursements. If a federal judge can force the State of Arkansas to award funds to an abortion provider over the objections of its citizens, that’s likely to have serious repercussions down the road.”
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.