Last week Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge in Little Rock to temporarily pause the group’s lawsuit over the state’s decision to quit giving Medicaid money to the abortion provider.
In 2015 Governor Hutchinson ordered the state to stop providing Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood clinics after a series of undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of organs and tissue harvested from aborted babies.
Planned Parenthood sued the state, and U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker in Little Rock ruled Arkansas had to give Medicaid money to the abortion provider.
However, a federal panel of judges at the Eighth Circuit disagreed, and overturned Judge Baker’s bad ruling last year. Arkansas officially quit giving Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood in November of 2017.
In January we learned that Planned Parenthood was making a second run at the lawsuit, asking Judge Baker once again to require the state to give the group Medicaid money. Now it seems they want to put that lawsuit on hold.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that last week attorneys for Planned Parenthood asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to halt the lawsuit temporarily while similar lawsuits play out in Kansas and Louisiana.
The Fifth Circuit and Tenth Circuit — which preside over Louisiana and Kansas respectively — have generally ruled that states cannot cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. Those decisions are being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood is asking Judge Baker to halt the lawsuit in Arkansas temporarily while the Louisiana and Kansas cases play out in federal court.
It sounds like Planned Parenthood is afraid of losing in court in Arkansas. They already lost once at the Eighth Circuit, and they know there’s a good possibility they will lose a second time.
If the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules Arkansas can stop giving Medicaid money to abortionists, that may increase the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case and rule against Planned Parenthood as well.
Arkansas is winning the fight to protect the unborn. Our abortion numbers are at historic lows, and our legislature has passed dozens of good, pro-life laws. The fact that Planned Parenthood wants to put its own lawsuit temporarily on hold seems to signal that they’ve been knocked on their heels in Arkansas.
Photo Credit: By jordanuhl7 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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.