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Brief supports state’s decision to remove funding from Planned Parenthood due to waste, fraud, abuse

Related Case: Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services v. Phillips

DALLAS – Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief Thursday that urges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to reverse a 2016 decision of that Court and allow the state of Texas to redirect funds away from Planned Parenthood because of its “persistent refusal to operate with integrity.”

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General has sought to terminate the Medicaid provider agreements of Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout the state due to the abortion seller’s noncompliance with accepted medical and ethical standards. However, in January, the 5th Circuit sent the case back to the trial court in Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services v. Phillips. The ADF brief supports the state’s argument and cites government audits revealing that Planned Parenthood’s abuse of Title XIX Medicaid and other healthcare funding have cost taxpayers roughly $132 million.

“Texans shouldn’t be forced to subsidize a scandal-plagued, billion-dollar corporation that profits off of the abortions of innocent children,” said ADF Legal Counsel Denise Harle. “State audits, whistleblowers, and congressional investigations all indicate that Planned Parenthood is guilty of waste, fraud, and violations of federal law. The nation’s largest abortion seller simply doesn’t deserve taxpayer dollars, and the state of Texas should be commended for its effort to protect women, unborn children, and public funds from this bad actor.”

The ADF brief explains that Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates—including plaintiffs in the lawsuit—have already been audited and shown to be in habitual violation of laws. During the 2007-2008 audit period, Planned Parenthood of North Texas overbilled Medicaid by an estimated $129,028. A 2009 report also revealed that Planned Parenthood Center of El Paso did not keep accurate accounting records and, to the extent it could be determined, failed to pay out more than $500,000 in subcontractor fees during the time reviewed. The brief argues that “[i]ncorrect overbilling of public programs and failure to maintain proper accounting records for state funds are eminently reasonable causes for Texas to be concerned and take action accordingly.”

The brief points out that “congressional investigation has uncovered extensive evidence that Planned Parenthood has broken multiple federal laws. In response to the same undercover videos that prompted Texas’s investigation at issue in this case, the U.S. House of Representatives began looking into Planned Parenthood’s practices. In December 2016, after 15 months of investigation, a House Select Investigative Panel issued its final report, detailing evidence that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates violated a federal statute prohibiting the acquisition, reception, or transfer of fetal tissue for money. The report showed that the organization consistently engaged in this kind of prohibited fetal-tissue trafficking.”

The Select Investigative Panel’s report included specific evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates, including fetal tissue procurement for financial gain and the use of partial-birth abortion methods and ultrasound technology to harvest fetal body parts. All of those actions violate federal law.

 
  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR'-lee)

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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