Planned Parenthood sues Alabama over end to Medicaid funds

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Abbott wants harsher penalties in wake of Planned Parenthood videos.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. 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.Atlanta-based Planned Parenthood Southeast fired back at critics Friday, filing a federal lawsuit in Alabama over efforts there to block patients receiving medical services paid for through the federal Medicaid program.

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. 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. 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. Robert Bentley over his move to end all state funding to the organization following videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue procurement.

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. Abbott also said he would push to increase the penalties for performing a partial-birth abortion or altering an abortion to preserve fetal organs, ensure that Planned Parenthood receives no taxpayer dollars from Texans and expand the availability of adoption services in the state. The groups said they plan to file a motion next week for a preliminary injunction against the state, to prevent it from cutting off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood Southeast’s two health centers in Birmingham and Mobile. Governor Robert Bentley gave Planned Parenthood no explanation, and only 15 days notice, when he announced the termination earlier this month, the organization said.

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. The footage shows Planned Parenthood executives casually discussing the methods — and costs — related to preserving fetal organs during an abortion. A series of sting videos were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress starting in July, purporting to show Planned Parenthood physicians selling fetal parts for profit.

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. Republicans have seized on it as evidence that the women’s health organization sells organs, although the organization has said it only donates the tissue for medical research. 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. The clinics, while known as abortion providers, also give patients access to contraception, screening for cervical and breast cancer, and testing for sexually transmitted infections.

The governor cited now famous hidden-camera videos that accuse the organization of selling fetal organs for profit after abortions. “The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama,” Bentley said. 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 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.

Abbott, however, wants to “eliminate and criminalize any sale or transaction of fetal tissue by an abortion clinic for any purpose whatsoever,” according to his plan. Many of the other items mentioned in Abbott’s initiative already are prohibited, but the governor said it was clear that harsher penalties were needed. They demonstrated no interest in Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of dead baby parts up until now, but since an analysis has supposedly “disproved” the claim, suddenly the whole issue seems relevant to them.

The barbaric practice of harvesting and selling baby body parts must end.” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said Abbott was not calling for a special session to discuss the package, despite some pressure from anti-abortion groups. “We are in the beginning of the process of laying out solutions to address this issue,” Wittman said. “We’re going to wait until next session… (which) allows time for lawmakers to digest the information that comes out of these investigations and build consensus around these legislative goals.” That means Planned Parenthood would no longer be reimbursed for services to their patients who are on Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income and disabled people. Americans should probably learn to investigate information for themselves rather than relying on the Huffington Post and CNN to give them the cliff notes. 1. On top of it all, the report comes to us courtesy of a company called Fusion GPS, which is a deeply partisan opposition research firm tied to the Democrat Party.

I really want you to read it so you understand just how thoroughly, profoundly, irreparably dishonest the abortion industry is about everything, and how beholden our nation’s “reporters” are to it. Then again, maybe these water-carrying media members are just angling to the be the latest recipients of the trophies Planned Parenthood hands out to the most cooperative and obedient journalists.

In the first couple of paragraphs, the report admits, and I quote, “this analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.” Alright. Two minutes might as well be the director’s cut of “Gone With The Wind.” As it happens, they did release extended versions of each condensed video, which means they went vastly above and beyond what most undercover journalists would do. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE?” The point is, the whole “the videos were edited!” thing is incredibly disingenuous, and this report only underscores that point. Mr.Goldie identifies the use of ominous music, replays, color manipulation, “scratch” effects, strategic display of frame counters and timestamps, all chosen to create “gotcha” moments.” This is what we’re dealing with. It states that Fusion GPS didn’t find “any evidence of audio manipulation,” and says again later that it never found anything indicating that audio was “inserted or manipulated,” but it does take issue with CPM’s interpretation of two supposedly “unintelligible” bits of dialogue.

They can’t defend themselves against the substance of the accusations — that they sell organs and limbs for profit and alter their procedures to preserve specimens — so they dedicate paragraph upon paragraph to refuting the most trivial aspects. Instead, they tell us their forensic analysts and Hollywood producers couldn’t verify that “it’s a baby” and “another boy” were actually said. Maybe they said “hey there lady” and “I want a toy” or “call me maybe” and “I’d like some soy (sauce).” Maybe they said a million other things, or maybe they said precisely what it sounds like they said. 5. Joseph Goebbels is no doubt looking on from Hell, overcome with envy at Planned Parenthood’s almost artistic ability to manipulate and paint false pictures.

This excerpt from the report is a perfect example: “At 14:32:07 on the video’s timestamp, the timestamp skips ahead four minutes and the date changes from July 25, 2014 to July 25, 2013. Visual review of the short and long videos from both California interviews shows clear shiftsin perspective from one camera to another… The blatant manipulation of this video renders it useless as “evidence”…” That was a lot of information and a lot of words, all simply informing us that the investigators used two cameras.

Planned Parenthood apologists will see a bunch of stuff about “timestamps” and “shifts in perspective” and “time jumps” and assume that, whatever it all means, it certainly must reaffirm their predrawn conclusions. [I]t’s the “buyer” who is doing all the talking. OK, not really, but it is pathetic and humiliating that their primary defense against charges of profiting from the sale of human bodies is, essentially, “well, YOU STARTED IT!” Yes, the investigators brought it up and steered the conversation towards the sale of baby parts, because that’s precisely what they were trying to investigate.

Personally, you could take 10,000 hours of undercover video in my house, and you could steer and manipulate the conversation all you want, but never would you get me to say “yes” to hocking a child’s disemboweled liver. Irrelevant portions of video were cut, a few pieces of inconsequential transcript could not be verified, some dramatic music was played, two cameras were used, and the poor, innocent baby killers were “baited.” That’s all they’ve got.

The numerous errors, discrepancies, and omissions in the CMP transcripts render them useless as “evidence.” They also cannot be relied upon in official inquiries as a credible text record of what is said in the videos. These two sentences are all Planned Parenthood needs to support their claims, but the problem is that this conclusion was not at all supported by the facts they presented.

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