Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration filed an appeal notice at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans after a federal judge ordered his administration to cease efforts to strip Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood in the state.
Late last month, after temporarily blocking Jindal’s attempts, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles handed down a preliminary injunction requiring Louisiana to continue funding Planned Parenthood.
Jindal, a Republican candidate for president, sought the cancellation of provider agreements between Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, asserting the women’s reproductive healthcare provider does not “represent the values of the state of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life.”
He also cited a series of fraudulent and surreptitiously recorded videos released by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The videos, which CMP claim depicts Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue, have been debunked repeatedly. Nonetheless, under Jindal’s directive, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) issued a notice to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) in August alerting them of their contract termination with Medicaid effective 30 days after the notice’s date.
The need for affordable access to quality reproductive healthcare in Louisiana could not be more critical. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease infection in the United States, ranking first in gonorrhea infection, second in chlamydia and third in syphilis and HIV. Last year, the state’s two Planned Parenthood clinics provided nearly 20,000 STD tests as well as pelvic exams, cancer screenings and contraception to some 10,000 predominately low-income patients.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 11/5/15; RH Reality Check 10/30/15; New York Times 9/1/15