Judge Orders Alabama to Resume Planned Parenthood Payments
A federal judge has ordered Alabama to resume paying their Planned Parenthood payments on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued a 66-page decision, calling for the state to resume its payments. The decision cited that the state was legally obligated to fund Planned Parenthood and that the tapes were not sufficient evidence to proceed with defunding.
“This is in fact a great victory for women in Alabama to go to the provider of their choice without regard to political choices by the governor,” Randall Marshall, an ACLU attorney involved in the case, declared Wednesday, according to Planned Parenthood.
The Hill reports:
Thompson’s order to restore the funding comes shortly after a judge ordered Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to temporarily resume funding to Planned Parenthood.
The move was quickly cheered by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing plaintiffs in the suit. The plaintiffs are patients of Planned Parenthood who said their care would be jeopardized if Planned Parenthood clinics did not receive state funding.
Bentley has said that undercover footage of Planned Parenthood clinics have proven ethical lapses in its fetal tissue donation program, which, in effect, cause an injury to the state. But Thompson, appointed to the court by former President Carter, said that even if the claims were accurate, it did not affect patients in Alabama, where Planned Parenthood does not allow fetal tissue to be donated.
“This argument is not persuasive because the defendants do not dispute the plaintiffs’ assertions — or the evidence in the record — that [Planned Parenthood Southeast] does not engage in fetal-tissue donation,” he writes. “The practices purported to be portrayed by the videos, therefore, cannot possibly cause any harm to the State or to Alabama taxpayers.”
He issued a preliminary injunction to the plaintiff Jane Doe, who he said was “very likely to succeed on her claim” that the governor violated the Medicaid Act.
The Obama administration had previously warned states like Alabama and Louisiana that cutting off Medicaid contracts was likely against the law. Planned Parenthood launched lawsuits in those states shortly after.
See the decision below:
Photo credit: MSNBC.