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Judge Blocks Arizona from Defunding Planned Parenthood

Temporary injuction allows Medicaid funding to continue

- Common Dreams staff

A federal judge has temporarily barred the state of Arizona from blocking Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving state money because the organization also provides abortions.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo: sparklepony.blogspot.com) District Court Judge Neil Wake issued a temporary injunction on Friday blocking the state from cutting Medicaid funding from any organization that also provides abortion, Think Progress reports.

Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said in a statement that the ruling was "a victory for poor women."

But the ruling would also have blocked state funding for family planning and other health services, effectively defunding Planned Parenthood.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law in May.

Planned Parenthood argued that the state should not be able to dictate to citizens who could and could not provide their health care, and Wake found that the case would likely succeed, Reuters reports.

Wake said that federal law gives Medicaid recipients the right to choose among all qualified providers "without government interference," Howard Fischer of the Phoenix Capitol News Service reports. "A state's determination of whether a provider is qualified must relate to its ability to deliver Medicaid services,'' Wake wrote.

A hearing on the issue will likely take place in December.