NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Inc. filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to stop the state from cutting the organization’s Medicaid funding.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Inc. is a unit of the federal Planned Parenthood organization.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an order that would stop the flow of Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood facilities in the state beginning Sept. 2.
Jindal said that he gave the organization a 30-day warning.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said that the suit will protect more than 5,200 individuals’ access to basic health care, adding that were it not for the funds, many of these individuals would have nowhere else to go for health care.
Jindal’s order joins similar motions in Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire and in Utah. The motions are a response to a campaign by the Center for Medical Progress, which released various videos allegedly proving that Planned Parenthood profits from providing fetal tissue to researchers.
Planned Parenthood has denied the claims, writing off the videos as a smear campaign.
The states pursuing funding restrictions may be in conflict with federal law that protects an individual’s right to choose their health care provider. The Obama administration has notified these states of the potential conflict.
A spokesman for Jindal said that the contract linking Medicaid between the state health department and Planned Parenthood allows either party to cancel the contract at will.