Obama admin threatens states for defunding Planned Parenthood
August 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Obama administration threatened states taking steps to defund Planned Parenthood, claiming they may be in violation of federal law, HHS officials said on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said that representatives of its agency, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, contacted state officials in Louisiana and Alabama earlier this month warning them that their plans to end Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood may illegally constrict beneficiary access to services, according to Yahoo News.
Federal law requires state Medicaid programs to cover “family-planning” services and supplies for anyone of child-bearing age, according to HHS, and the agency contends that terminating the agreements with Planned Parenthood would restrict beneficiaries' access to care and services from “qualified providers of their choice.”
President Obama has been an ardent Planned Parenthood supporter throughout his administration. He told the largest provider of abortion in the U.S. in 2013 he would fight alongside it to further its agenda.
His administration has said since the video scandal broke that Planned Parenthood’s actions “are entirely consistent with the strictest ethical guidelines that have been established in the healthcare industry,” and indicated it would oppose any effort to defund Planned Parenthood.
Obama’s shot across the bow comes just after the sixth in a series of undercover videos was released exposing the abortion giant bartering in the sales of fetal tissue and body parts from children aborted at its facilities.
The latest video divulged how Planned Parenthood would routinely steal the remains of aborted children without their mothers’ consent.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a GOP candidate for president, canceled the contract with his state's two Planned Parenthood locations earlier this month after the controversy surfaced.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced his state would end its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood in the last couple days as well.
The New Hampshire Executive Council voted to cut off funds from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the third state to move on defunding Planned Parenthood this week.
Planned Parenthood advocates continue to claim that cuts would harm women, depriving them of needed services.
“You can’t exclude Planned Parenthood [from funding] because you don’t like the services they provide,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues associate for the Guttmacher Institute, in a Wall Street Journal report.
Planned Parenthood and its supporters continually tout breast cancer screenings among its services, but the abortion giant does not offer them, and in fact refers clients to other facilities for mammograms.
In the past when states tried to block funding the claim didn’t hinge on whether Planned Parenthood was guilty of illegal activity, said Casey Mattox, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, so a court case over state defunding efforts would be a first.
“This really hasn’t been tried before,” Mattox said. “Planned Parenthood has contracts with states that can be terminated for cause. In other situations the contracts were not terminated for cause."