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September 02, 2015

Justice Dept. Backs Planned Parenthood in La. Funding Case

The Justice Department has told a federal judge that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's bid to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood appears to violate federal law, the Associated Press reports. A Louisiana chapter of the women's health nonprofit sued the state last week, seeking a temporary injunction to block the governor's order.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles is set to hear arguments Wednesday, the day the fund cutoff is due to take effect. In a legal brief filed Monday, the Justice Department says Louisiana has not shown the state's two Planned Parenthood clinics do not meet Medicaid qualifications and that the order improperly denies Medicaid patients their free choice of health-care providers.

The Jindal administration says state law allows it to terminate Planned Parenthood's Medicaid agreement with 30 days' notice. The governor, a Republican presidential candidate, issued the cutoff order last month, citing undercover videos that anti-abortion activists claim show that Planned Parenthood traffics in fetal tissue. The nonprofit denies the allegations and says the videos are deceptively edited.

The New York Times looks at the potential impact on women's health services in Louisiana if the Planned Parenthood clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge lose Medicaid funding.