DOJ Defends Planned Parenthood Against Attacks From Bobby Jindal

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been trying to defund planned Parenthood by canceling the healthcare providerā€™s Medicaid contract in his state, but heā€™s now being forced to battle with the U.S. Department of Justice over the issue, The Hill reported.

Jindal moved to cancel the contract after an anti-abortion group released a series of undercover videos, one of which purportedly showed a Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood alleges that the videos are deceptively edited and the DOJ is investigating the Center for Medical Progress, The Hill reported in July.

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In the latest battle in Louisiana, the DOJĀ said in a brief that ā€œLouisiana has not proffered sufficient reasons to terminate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. ('PPGC') from its Medicaid programā€¦ Terminating PPGC from its Medicaid program without providing any justification related to PPGCā€™s qualifications to provide medical services would violate Louisianaā€™s obligations under the Medicaid statuteā€™s ā€˜free choice of providerā€™ provision.ā€

Alabama and Arkansas are making similar moves to cancel their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.Ā 

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Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast does not offer abortions in Louisiana, the Huffington Post reported. However, that apparently stopped Jindalā€™s attack on Planned Parenthood.Ā 

ā€œPlanned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state,ā€ the presidential candidate said in a statement on Aug. 3.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in their own statement that they would continue to fight the cancelation in court. ā€œWeā€™re in court today to protect over 5,200 peopleā€™s access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams and basic health care in Louisiana,ā€ she said. ā€œMany of these folks would have nowhere else to turn for health care.ā€

Sources: The Hill (2), The Huffington Post Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr