Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s office announced today that the state was terminating its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.
Jindal’s action provides a model that other states could follow. Also in terms of the Planned Parenthood controversy being injected into the 2016 presidential race Jindal can point to tangible action he has taken.
There will likely be a court challenge, but with an “at-will” clause in the contract it is uncertain whether that will be successful.
Here is the press release from Monday afternoon.
(Baton Rogue, LA) Today, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals informed Planned Parenthood it is exercising its right to terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid provider agreement. In recent weeks, multiple videos have surfaced showing Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior personnel and other employees describing how they actively engage in illegal partial birth abortion procedures and conduct these abortions in a manner that leaves body parts intact so that they can later be sold on the open market. Since these videos have surfaced, Governor Jindal has directed DHH to investigate Planned Parenthood’s activities in Louisiana and also sent a letter to both the Louisiana Inspector General and the F.B.I. asking them to assist in the investigation.
According to the Medicaid provider contract between DHH and Planned Parenthood, along with relevant Louisiana law, either party can choose to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice. Governor Jindal and DHH decided to give the required 30-day notice to terminate the Planned Parenthood Medicaid provider contract because Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life. Pending the ongoing investigation, DHH reserves the right to amend the cancellation notice and terminate the provider agreement immediately should cause be determined.
Governor Jindal said, “In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”
DHH has concerns that Planned Parenthood could be acting in violation of Louisiana law that states no person or group contracting with the state or receiving government assistance shall require or recommend that any woman have an abortion. The state investigation into Planned Parenthood remains ongoing.
Louisiana’s Medicaid Family Planning Services program is required to provide adequate services to women across the state. Cancellation of this contract at will does not jeopardize those services in any way as Planned Parenthood is just one of many providers in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas.