Federal judge overturns Arizona law defunding Planned Parenthood, abortion providers
PHOENIX, February 11, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A federal judge today issued a ruling overturning an Arizona law that prioritized Medicaid funding away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
“A state may not restrict a beneficiary’s right to select any qualified provider for reasons wholly unrelated to the provider’s ability to deliver Medicaid services,” wrote Judge Neil Wake.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to the ruling, saying it “thwarts the will of Arizona taxpayers to stop funding big abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood.”
“As a result, funds will be reduced for agencies that provide whole women’s health care,” she said.
Dannenfelser said that while Planned Parenthood’s government funding has reached record highs, the number of legitimate health services it provides has dropped. Meanwhile, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs continues to go up.
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Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2800 into law last May and Planned Parenthood immediately filed a lawsuit. In October, the Obama Department of Justice filed a brief in the case, at which point Judge Wake issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law.
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, which co-authored the legislation with the SBA List, have helped state Solicitor General David Cole defend the law to date. The state is expected to appeal today’s ruling.
Last year the SBA List, the Center for Arizona Policy, Arizona Right to Life, and other local groups hosted “Women Speak Out: Defund Planned Parenthood” grassroots rallies in front of local Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to draw attention to the organization’s abortion-centered business and calling for the passage of HB 2800.
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