What's at stake
- Debranding and defunding Planned Parenthood Federation of American and one of its affiliates by seeking to hold one of its affiliates accountable for healthcare fraud
Abby Johnson was a Planned Parenthood center director in Bryan, Texas who left her job, became pro-life, and now seeks to hold Planned Parenthood responsible for at least 87,075 false, fraudulent, or ineligible claims for reimbursement she alleges it filed for claims through the Texas Women’s Health Program totaling over $5.7 million.
Filed under the False Claims Act, the lawsuit alleged that Planned Parenthood billed the government for claims that it knew were ineligible for payment because they were for products and services not reimbursable by the Texas Women’s Health Program.” The lawsuit also alleged that Planned Parenthood falsified documents and records to hide the overpayments. When Planned Parenthood executives acknowledged that they had received taxpayer funds to which they were not entitled, Johnson asked what they planned to do about it. Johnson alleged that the executives said, “We’re going to hope we don’t get caught.”
“Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Our role in this case
ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton is lead counsel for relator Abby Kristen Johnson. On June 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision dismissing Ms. Johnson’s complaint pursuant to the False Claims Act “first-to-file bar” because an earlier filed complaint (here a complaint filed by ally ACLJ on behalf of relator Karen Reynolds against the same Defendant) jurisdictionally barred Ms. Johnson’s later-filed complaint.