Jindal ends Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood
BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal announced Monday the state's health department is cancelling its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood because of hidden videos recorded by a pro-life activist group.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said they informed Planned Parenthood of the decision Monday. The governor's office said DHH has concerns that Planned Parenthood could be acting in violation of a Louisiana law that restricts groups from receiving government assistance the group requires or recommends any woman to have an abortion.
“It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state,” Jindal said in the press release.
Planned Parenthood said they do not provide abortions at any facilities in Louisiana. The contract makes the organization eligible for reimbursement from Medicaid for qualifying services, and DHH said they reimbursed Planned Parenthood for more than $287,000 worth of family planning services in the past fiscal year.
The decision comes as anti-abortion lawmakers target Planned Parenthood's funding in the wake of the videos released in July by a group called the Center for Medical Progress. In the videos, actors hired by the CMP questioned Planned Parenthood officials about medical tissue donation from aborted fetuses.
The Center claims the videos shows Planned Parenthood is selling parts from fetuses for profit, while Planned Parenthood said the videos are heavily edited to cast the donation practice in the worst light possible and were produced by a group with a long history of attempts to discredit their organization. Planned Parenthood said they do not profit from tissue donation, and follow all the same ethical guidelines followed by other organizations where tissue is donated for research.
Jindal, who is running for president, called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices in the state after the videos surfaced.
DHH said canceling the contract does not jeopardize women's health services across the state, which the Louisiana's Medicaid Family Planning Services is required to provide. A spokesperson said people seeing care providers at Planned Parenthood still have 30 days before the contract ends to request their medical records be transferred to another Medicaid-eligible doctor or care provider.
Planned Parenthood has the opportunity to appeal the decision within 30 days and request a hearing with the state health secretary.