Planned Parenthood Loses. Oregon and Texas on Opposite Sides.
Two separate federal appeals courts across the United States handed down decisions this week in cases involving Planned Parenthood.
On Monday, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed a lower court decision that prevented David Daleiden—whose undercover work with the Center for Medical Progress exposed the activities of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the baby body parts business—from obtaining records from the University of Washington lab and abortion facility in regard to the school’s taxpayer-funded Birth Defects Research Laboratory. A US District Court ruled the record could only be provided with heavy redaction to the point where the records would be useless.
The 9th Circuit Panel ruled that the lower US District Court for the Western District of Washington, in Seattle, had not made a “clear showing” of the facts and law consistent with the claim that the Constitution requires heavy censoring of these public records. The panel’s decision sends the case back to the lower District Court, which must now specify and justify its decision.
On Wednesday, an 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. The state had cut Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood in 2015. Three patients filed a lawsuit and US District Judge Kristine Baker previously ordered the state to continue the payments to all Medicaid qualified patients. The 8th Circuit Court ruled that the unnamed patients did not have the right to challenge the defunding decision. The panel did not directly address Arkansas' reason for terminating the contract. The ruling will take effect in about a week or two.
Also this week, The Blaze reported:
Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation Tuesday requiring health insurers to cover birth control and abortion without charging patients a co-pay, The Washington Post reported.
According to ABC News, the bill—the Reproductive Health Equity Act, HB 3391—also allocates almost $500,000 in state funds to provide abortion procedures to illegal immigrants who are excluded from Medicaid. ABC News noted the state already spends almost $2 million in taxpayer funds each year to pay for about 3,500 abortion procedures in the state.
Ironically, the Texas Tribune reported that Gov. Greg Abbott (also) on Tuesday signed a bill that will require Texas women to pay an extra health insurance premium for non-emergency abortions. The measure, House Bill 214, does not include exceptions for instances of fetal abnormalities, rape, or incest. "As a firm believer in Texas values I am proud to sign legislation that ensures no Texan is ever required to pay for a procedure that ends the life of an unborn child,” Abbott said in a news release. “I am grateful to the Texas Legislature for getting this bill to my desk, and working to protect innocent life this special session.”