Health Care

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Planned Parenthood Suit

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Planned Parenthood Suit”

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider appeals by Kansas and Louisiana to court decisions that blocked their ability to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving medicaid funding.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have heard the case.

"Taxation without representation lives on today in a decision by a majority on the court that ignores the wishes of state leaders who no longer want to be coerced into funding abortion", SFLA's Kristan Hawkin said in a statement.

[W] hat explains the Court's refusal to do its job here?

The case was one of a number of disputes working their way up to the Supreme Court over the legality of state-imposed restrictions involving abortion.

The issue has to do with whether individual Medicaid recipients who receive services from providers such as Planned Parenthood have a right to challenge a state's decision to cut off funding to the providers.

"We are pleased that lower court rulings protecting patients remain in place", said Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Johnson told CNA she believes states should instead fund federal qualified healthcare clinics, which "outnumber Planned Parenthood almost 20-to-1 and sees ten times the number of patients that Planned Parenthood does every year".

The high court's decision to pass on hearing this case is certainly noteworthy, given so many on the left argued breathlessly during his confirmation earlier this year that Kavanaugh's appointment to the bench would result in the overturning of the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion nationwide.

The move to defund Planned Parenthood in Kansas and Louisiana was in part inspired by anti-abortion activist David Daleiden and his organization, the Center for Medical Progress. That is barred by federal law.

Abortion opponents said they hope the court will take up the issue in future cases.

A pro-life advocacy group had presented evidence that Planned Parenthood was harvesting and selling fetal materials.

But the court not taking up this case means that most states can not, for now, effectively prohibit people from using Medicaid funds for other Planned Parenthood services, like screenings, ultrasounds and counseling.

But Thomas, joined by Alito and Gorsuch, dissented, insisting that it was the Supreme Court's duty to consider such prominent cases in which the federal circuits courts of appeal were divided.

"One of this Court's primary functions is to resolve important matters on which the courts of appeals are in conflict", Thomas began, quoting Supreme Court rules. Both Kavanaugh and Roberts sided with the court's liberals. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.

Similar defunding laws in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, and in have also been tossed by the lower courts. If so, they said, states may decide who is a qualified provider of health care. He also notes that states' decisions on this issue are heavily divided, and that "Because of this Court's inaction, patients in different States-even patients with the same providers-have different rights to challenge their State's provider decisions".

"But these cases are not about abortion rights".



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