Attorney sound bite: Elissa Graves
– Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing 27 pro-family organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief
Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court that urges the high court to take up a case out of Louisiana and rule that Planned Parenthood and its supporters can’t go to court to sidestep an appeals process Congress established with regard to Medicaid funding.
In 2015, Louisiana terminated its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast. Rather than follow the appeals procedure that Congress mandates, the Planned Parenthood affiliate and three unidentified supporters filed suit in federal court. The ADF brief, filed on behalf of Louisiana Family Forum and 26 other family policy councils, explains that Medicaid providers, whether Planned Parenthood or anyone else, can’t use the courts to challenge the removal of those agreements in an attempt to evade the established administrative appeals process that federal law requires.
“Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be given a special pass in an attempt to get its way,” said ADF Legal Counsel Elissa Graves. “We are asking the Supreme Court to take up the Louisiana case and reverse lower court rulings that have so far allowed Planned Parenthood to skirt what federal law clearly requires. If Planned Parenthood wants to challenge the removal of its status as a Medicaid provider in Louisiana because of its various scandals, it can do so through the well-established process that everyone else has to follow.”
As the brief filed in Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast
explains, Planned Parenthood’s “decision to bypass the process set up by Congress by filing a federal lawsuit…undermines congressional intent and purpose to provide an efficient scheme of remedies…,” adding that allowing Planned Parenthood to dodge the proper appeals process would cost taxpayers “millions of dollars which could be used to provide healthcare to low-income individuals.”
“Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, vice president of the ADF Center for Life. “We hope the Supreme Court will take this case and make it clear that neither Planned Parenthood nor anyone else should be treated in a favored way that allows it to escape federal laws that all other organizations with Medicaid agreements have to follow.”
- Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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