Planned Parenthood goes to court to fight funding cuts in Alabama

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Abbott wants new abortion limits following undercover video.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. REUTERS: Planned Parenthood filed a complaint in Alabama federal on Friday seeking to stop the state from defunding its health clinics after the release of covertly recorded videos attacking the organization’s handling of aborted fetal tissue.

After reeling for weeks from bad publicity tied to a string of heavily edited videos of meetings with its officials, Planned Parenthood finally has struck back.The Center for Medical Progress released the full, two-hour unedited video of StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer explaining admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies, LifeNews.com reports. Greg Abbott is calling on the Legislature to approve several new abortion restrictions — even though Texas already has some of the nation’s toughest limits on the procedure.

The reproductive-health organization took similar legal action earlier this week in Louisiana, which also plans to terminate its contract with Planned Parenthood to provide medical services to low-income residents. He spoke on the 2015 State of the State. (Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News) Citing the recent release of “gruesome videos” taken inside Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that were considering donating fetal tissue, Gov.

Bobby Jindal’s administration is making about Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s ability to sue in federal court is not likely to hold up, experts on Medicaid law said Friday (Aug. 28). Greg Abbott (R) proposed eliminating Planned Parenthood as part of a host of other measures in response to recent undercover videos filmed at several of the group’s facilities.

The full video of CMP undercover investigators and StemExpress executives was released Friday in the aftermath of a report the initial video was edited. Planned Parenthood, joined in the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, said in court filings that Alabama’s Republican governor illegally terminated its contract to provide health services under Medicaid, a federal and state healthcare program for the poor. Administration lawyers who are defending Department of Health and Hospitals against a Planned Parenthood injunction are relying on a Supreme Court ruling decided in March, Armstrong v.

Laws must be changed to (1) make it a felony under Texas law to perform a partial-birth abortion; and (2) make it illegal for abortion doctors to risk a woman’s health by altering the procedure to preserve fetal body parts. Anyone who has studied the CMP videos and transcripts — and we’ve watched every minute and read every word of the purportedly complete versions posted by CMP — knows that they don’t show what CMP says they do.

Improve and expand the availability of adoption services; and increase awareness about Texas’ already best-in-the-nation child-support enforcement program, so that young mothers considering how to deal with pregnancy know the father will be held accountable to support his family. His announcement comes weeks after an anti-abortion group released an undercover video alleging fetal organ sales, which activists say was shot inside a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.

Governor Robert Bentley gave Planned Parenthood no explanation, and only 15 days notice, when he announced the termination earlier this month, the organization said. But three health care law experts said Friday that the high court’s decision doesn’t bar health care providers like Planned Parenthood from suing over being defunded. “Armstrong was all about providers challenging a rate-setting situation,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington. “Armstrong simply has no bearing on this situation. Planned Parenthood has maintained the videos are selectively edited, and a forensic analysis of the videos determined the videos were so severely manipulated that they wouldn’t hold up in court. “Treating unborn children as commodities to be sold is an abomination. This is embarrassing for CMP and its founder, anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, but even more so for the members of Congress and media types who piled on Planned Parenthood based on videos that can’t stand up to scrutiny.

On Thursday it released an analysis questioning what it called deceptive edits, inaccurate transcripts and missing footage in the widely viewed videos, which have spurred investigations in the Republican-controlled U.S. As some conservatives in Washington seek to cut its federal funding, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas have targeted the Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding, covering preventive healthcare services such as birth control and cancer screenings. “The federal government and several courts have made clear that a state cannot kick Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program simply because Planned Parenthood provides abortion,” Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said in a statement. On Thursday, Planned Parenthood released a report from the research firm Fusion GPS that concluded the footage from the anti-abortion group had been substantially edited and was misleading. “We’ve said all along that these videos were heavily edited to deceive the public, and that’s what this expert analysis now shows. On that score, Louisiana is dead wrong,” Rosenbaum said. “Armstrong dealt with a lawsuit brought directly under the supremacy clause, which is state laws that conflict with federal laws are invalid.” But Planned Parenthood is not invoking the supremacy clause.

And Rosenbaum said “there have been dozens — probably hundreds — of cases brought challenging state Medicaid regulations.” And many of those cases, including those involving Planned Parenthood, have been successful. “Armstrong did not deal with lawsuits brought under 1983 and there are dozens of cases — including a number of cases that have recognized the right of providers and recipients to sue,” said Washington & Lee University professor Tim Jost. Consider the video of a Feb. 6, 2015, meeting between Planned Parenthood official Mary Gatter and two CMP representatives masquerading as reps of a company interested in buying fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood clinics. (One is possibly Daleiden himself.) CMP’s video is here. CMP’s heading on this video is: “Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods.” In fact, viewing the video and reading the transcript shows that all the “haggling” is done by CMP’s own people, who keep trying to get Gatter to raise her price for fetal tissue.

As for “changing abortion methods,” Gatter reminds them that the rules forbid changing abortion procedures to preserve tissue samples if it would alter the treatment of the mother. She doesn’t agree to do that, despite the wheedling of the CMP plants but says she would ask the clinic’s doctor if one or another technique would be equivalent. It’s a CMP plant who calls the distinction “technicalities.” These nuances are lost in the editing of the video, which is overlaid with ominous musical chords and stretches of slow motion (always a good way to make even an innocent walk down the street look sinister).

Planned Parenthood’s analysis documents that even the purportedly full videos have suspicious edits in which material ranging from several minutes to a half-hour are missing. They show that CMP’s transcripts are often inaccurate, with some damning dialogue that may not have taken place inserted. (CMP says the edits cover “bathroom breaks and waiting periods between meetings.”) But even the “full” footage and transcripts fail to deliver any evidence that Planned Parenthood or its affiliates or partners are violating the law. The organization goes to great lengths, it’s clear, to ensure that every legal “i” is dotted and that it has fully informed consent from its patients to donate fetal tissues to medical researchers in accordance with the law. It attempts to gin up public opposition to abortion by portraying medical procedures as unpalatable and clinical — which they undoubtedly are, to a layperson. One would expect our elected representatives to be rather more discriminating, especially about what they accept as grist for Congressional investigations.

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