Planned Parenthood won the day in federal court this Thursday. The organization stood up in a lawsuit aimed at blocking a law that would have taken effect in Mississippi. The law would not allow medical providers that also perform abortions to take part in the state’s Medicaid program. Planned Parenthood contested the law in federal court and won. The women’s health provider opposed the Mississippi law on grounds that it went against federal law. Planned Parenthood argued that the provisions of the law cannot discriminate against medical practitioners who offer abortions.
Federal Court Strikes Down Mississippi Law
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III sided with Planned Parenthood. But the decision is just one in a series of rulings regarding laws that affect the activity of the women’s health services provider. The laws that limit access to the Medicaid program act to limit Planned Parenthood’s access to funding. It is a way in which pressure is placed on the organization’s financial balance.
But other states have also struck down similar laws. For example, the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals struck down another law in the state of Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III makes a note in his order that “essentially every court to consider similar laws has found that they violate” federal law.
Medicaid is a federal program that provides healthcare insurance to those who cannot afford it. The federal government runs the program together with individual states. So the states have some say regarding the allocation off the funding. The laws that Planned Parenthood is now contesting in court effectively exclude the organization for participating in Medicaid.
Mississippi Law Limited Access to Healthcare Services
In the complaint that Planned Parenthood formulated, the law is addressed as being unconstitutional. Since it would, in effect, limit the patient’s rights to freely choose their healthcare provider. The law came into effect in July and Planned Parenthood could see its consequences. Aside from limiting patient’s right to choose their provider, the law prevented underprivileged women from accessing healthcare services that they needed. So, the law would have stopped Planned Parenthood from serving low-income patients.
Cecile Richards is the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She put out a statement after the ruling of the federal court.
“Yet another court has said it is unacceptable for politicians to dictate where women can go for their health care. Planned Parenthood will fight for our patients at every turn.”
Said Cecile Richards on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
The other side of the argument was not happy about the federal court’s decision. The Republican Governor of the state of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, was disappointed about the result of the case. He expressed his feelings regarding the ruling in a statement posted to Facebook.
“I believe the law was the right thing to do and I will continue to stand with the legislature and people of Mississippi who do not want their hard-earned money going to the largest abortion provider in the nation.”
Said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.
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