Published: Tue, December 11, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Planned Parenthood Defunding Case

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Planned Parenthood Defunding Case

In dissent, Justices Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, accused their colleagues of allowing a "politically fraught issue" to justify "abdicating our judicial duty".

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not join the court's three most conservative members in calling to accept the cases.

Planned Parenthood. "So what explains the court's refusal to do its job here?"

The high court Monday rejected review of appeals from two states, which claim the nation's largest abortion provider should not receive any public funding after a series of disputed videos surfaced reportedly showing the group engaged in illegal sales of fetal tissue for medical research. "We will do everything we can to ensure our patient and the people who need healthcare will always have a place to turn-no matter what", said Melaney A. Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in a statement.

Students for Life of America, an anti-abortion-rights group, focused on Planned Parenthood's role in abortions, though, again, Medicaid funds can not be used to fund abortions.

It only takes the votes of four justices to hear a case, which most assumed would be a given with President Donald Trump having appointed two new justices to form what has widely been called a 5-4 conservative majority. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (17-1340) and Gee v. "We won't stop fighting for every patient who relies on Planned Parenthood for life-saving, life-changing care". Louisiana and Kansas consequently cut Medicaid-provider agreements with Planned Parenthood affiliates, leading the parent organization to file suit.

"It's an incredibly important thing for the court to guard - is this reputation of being fair, of being impartial, of being neutral, and not being simply an extension of the terribly polarized political process and environment that we live in", Justice Elena Kagan said in October.

At issue was whether people insured by Medicaid can access Planned Parenthood's services, including screenings, ultrasounds, and counseling.

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He said: "I thought, one person is shouting "tomorrow" and literally hundreds of people are shouting "today", and the will of Parliament is going to be ignored".

Current law under the Hyde amendment already prevents federal funding from covering abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the woman.

But in their appeals, lawyers for Kansas, Louisiana and 13 other states argued that Medicaid is a health care spending agreement, not a law that establishes rights for individuals.

Similar defunding laws in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, and in have also been tossed by the lower courts.

Louisiana and Kansas appealed to the Supreme Court.

However, she says she strongly suspects that the cases - or another like them - will return before the court soon. Rather, Gee focused on the question of whether states have the ability to decide which health care providers do and do not qualify for Medicaid reimbursements.

The three dissenting justices further noted that this disagreement over whether people can bring federal lawsuits on this issue implicates "fundamental questions about the appropriate framework for determining when a cause of action is available under §1983", which is the primary federal civil rights law, making this "an important legal issue independently worthy of this Court's attention".

"But these cases are not about abortion rights".

Lower courts sided with the plaintiffs and against Louisiana.

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