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Will Planned Parenthood Be Ordered To Pay Millions Of Dollars By A Federal Judge In Texas?

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has requested a state appeals court to overturn the conviction of former police officer Anthony Fox in the beating death of a man back in 2019. (Photo: The Leaflet)
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has requested a state appeals court to overturn the conviction of former police officer Anthony Fox in the beating death of a man back in 2019. (Photo: The Leaflet)

A state lawsuit trying to have Planned Parenthood repay millions of dollars it received via Medicaid was heard by the same federal judge in Texas who earlier this year blocked access to the abortion drug mifepristone.

Parenthood Does Not Have Facilities

Following a hearing in the Texas Panhandle city of Amarillo, where Planned Parenthood does not have any facilities, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk did not make a decision right away.

Planned Parenthood leaders said they encouraged the court to reject the state’s attempt to recover years’ worth of Medicaid reimbursements and issue harsh fines that the group claims could surpass $1 billion in a quick call with media following the hearing.

An second message sent Tuesday evening seeking comment from the Texas attorney general’s office, which brought the lawsuit in 2022, received no response either on Monday or Tuesday.

The lawsuit against Planned Parenthood is reportedly the first of its sort to be filed in the United States. Over the past ten years, the organization has often appeared in court in the nation’s largest red state as a result of funding cuts and limitations placed on clinic operations. However, the state had not yet filed a lawsuit against the group for money at that point.

Abortion is not a topic of the current lawsuit before Kacsmaryk; it is mostly prohibited in Texas since the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last year. However, Planned Parenthood asserts that the move to recover at least $17 million in Medicaid payments for health services, including cancer screenings, is a fresh Republican-led attempt to weaken the organization in the wake of years of legislation and litigation that have reduced the state’s presence in Texas.

Punishment For Wrongful Payment

Texas

Source: ABC news

Money spent by Planned Parenthood on medical care prior to Texas’s 2021 removal of the organization from the state’s Medicaid program is at question. Texas is requesting money for the services provided over the four years prior to the start of its attempt to shut down Planned Parenthood.

The federal False Claims Act, which permits punishment for each suspected wrongful payment, is what Texas used to file the action. According to Planned Parenthood, this might lead to a verdict in excess of $1 billion.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is now on leave of absence pending the outcome of his upcoming impeachment trial on bribery and abuse of office charges, announced the lawsuit last year.

In Texas, there are about thirty health facilities run by Planned Parenthood. Since the Supreme Court decision allowing Texas to restrict abortions last year, one has shuttered.

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