Elsewhere online
August 14, 2015

States Warned on Pulling Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funds

The Obama administration has notified Alabama and Louisiana that they may be breaching federal law by moving to block Medicaid money for Planned Parenthood, reports The Wall Street Journal. Both states said last week that they would terminate Medicaid provider agreements with the women's health nonprofit amid the controversy over its donation of organs from aborted fetuses for medical research.

Under federal law, Medicaid beneficiaries may obtain family-planning and other services from any qualified provider. The Department of Health and Human Services said women in states that restrict providers could lose access to vital services such as cancer screenings. Courts have sided with Planned Parenthood in past legal fights over state-level attempts to cut off Medicaid money.

Abortion foes said the latest attempts to do so are different because they stem from allegations that the nonprofit's fetal-tissue program violates federal law, which Planned Parenthood has vigorously denied. The claims arise from videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, the background and leadership of which are examined in an Associated Press article.