Attorney General Ken Paxton today commended the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit after it reversed the district court’s decision preventing Texas from eliminating Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program.
“The 5th Circuit’s ruling shows that the district court applied the wrong legal standard,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Planned Parenthood’s reprehensible conduct, captured in undercover videos, proves that it is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, so we are confident we will ultimately prevail.”
During oral argument, the attorney general’s legal team recounted raw, unedited footage from eight hours of undercover videos showing violations of medical and ethical standards by Texas Planned Parenthood officials. This footage was also described in the Fifth Circuit’s opinion. In the videos, Planned Parenthood employees admit that some doctors performed abortions to obtain fetal tissue for their own research and would manipulate the timing and methods of abortions. The Fifth Circuit included a picture of the fetal tissue Planned Parenthood was harvesting. Federal laws prohibit researchers from performing abortions to secure fetal tissue for their own research under such circumstances, and prohibits modifying abortion procedures to obtain tissue for research purposes.
In December 2016, the inspector general of Texas Health and Human Services removed Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program for the video footage of actions that “violate generally accepted medical standards,” and for making false statements to law enforcement. Though Planned Parenthood is still under investigation, it receives around $3.1 million a year in Texas Medicaid funding.
View a copy of the 5th Circuit decision here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2019/Press/PP%20Opinion.pdf