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4th Circuit to weigh whether taxpayers must help fund Planned Parenthood

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following hearing Friday
Two pairs of hands holding an ultrasound photo of a baby

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 8:30 a.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 8

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Courthouse & Annex, 1100 E. Main St., Suite 501, Red Courtroom, #412, Richmond, or view the livestream. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations at (480) 444-0020 or [email protected].

RICHMOND, Va. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews Friday following oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the 4th Circuit’s decision in the case and ordered the appeals court to reconsider its ruling in light of the high court’s decision in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski. At issue in Kerr is whether pro-life states like South Carolina can direct Medicaid funds—funds intended to help low-income individuals obtain necessary medical assistance—away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

“Pro-life states like South Carolina should be free to determine that Planned Parenthood and other entities that peddle abortion are not qualified to receive taxpayer funding through Medicaid,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of South Carolina. “Congress did not unambiguously create a right for Medicaid recipients to drag states into federal court to challenge those decisions, so no such right exists. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Talevski makes that even clearer. We are urging the 4th Circuit to hold that Congress did not intend to allow federal courts to second guess states’ decisions about which providers are qualified to receive Medicaid funding.”

After South Carolina determined that Planned Parenthood was not qualified to receive taxpayer funding as part of its Medicaid program, a federal district court forced the state to restore Planned Parenthood’s funding. Representing the director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, ADF attorneys appealed to the 4th Circuit, which ruled against allowing the state to terminate Planned Parenthood as a qualified Medicaid provider. ADF attorneys then filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to hear the case and affirm that the Medicaid Act does not create a private right for Medicaid recipients to challenge a state’s decision that a specific provider like Planned Parenthood is not qualified to receive taxpayer funding. The Supreme Court granted that petition and sent the case back to the 4th Circuit for further consideration after its decision in Talevski.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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John Bursch
John Bursch
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom.