Fighting with Everything It's Got, Planned Parenthood Launches Legal Battle
'This political grandstanding could have real and devastating consequences for the women, men and young people who rely on us,' said president Cecile Richards
Planned Parenthood is fighting back. The embattled women's healthcare provider on Tuesday filed a lawsuit, arguing that Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal acted illegally by blocking Medicaid funding to the group.
Though the suit marks the first legal action taken by Planned Parenthood against the most recent GOP-led effort to defund the abortion provider, it will likely not be the last. "Planned Parenthood is also eyeing the Republican governors in Arkansas and Alabama who have taken similar steps to eliminate its Medicaid funding," The Hill reported Tuesday.
During a press conference on Tuesday announcing the lawsuit, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, lambasted the group's partisan attackers.
"This political grandstanding could have real and devastating consequences for the women, men and young people who rely on us," she said. "And that’s why we’re going to fight this with everything we’ve got."
Launched by the organization's Gulf Coast chapter and three patients against the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, the lawsuit is requesting a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order to block Jindal's order. Otherwise, Medicaid funds would be blocked from going to Planned Parenthood starting Sept. 2.
Other efforts to stymie the essential healthcare provider are also stumbling. Five states that launched investigations into Planned Parenthood's operations—responding to calls from Republicans and anti-choice groups after the controversial release of deceptively-edited, undercover videos—reportedly found no wrong-doing. Ten other states have announced they have no intention of investigating the group.
"Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that's what all of these investigations are finding," the group's executive vice president, Dawn Laguens, said in a statement released Friday. "All of this stems from totally false claims made by anti-abortion extremists who are pursuing a political agenda that is far outside the mainstream."
According to a poll published last week, 54 percent of Americans surveyed said they support federal funding for the group.