Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been trying to defund planned Parenthood by canceling the healthcare provider’s Medicaid contract in his state, but he’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.
In the latest battle in Louisiana, the DOJ said in a brief that “Louisiana has not proffered sufficient reasons to terminate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. ('PPGC') from its Medicaid program… Terminating PPGC from its Medicaid program without providing any justification related to PPGC’s qualifications to provide medical services would violate Louisiana’s obligations under the Medicaid statute’s ‘free choice of provider’ provision.”
Alabama and Arkansas are making similar moves to cancel their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast does not offer abortions in Louisiana, the Huffington Post reported. However, that apparently stopped Jindal’s attack on Planned Parenthood.
“Planned 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,” 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. “We’re in court today to protect over 5,200 people’s access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams and basic health care in Louisiana,” she said. “Many of these folks would have nowhere else to turn for health care.”