Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration announced that it will end its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood “for cause” instead of “at will.”
The change marks a shift in the administration’s strategy to combat a lawsuit filed against them by Planned Parenthood.
According to a report by Bloomberg, health officials in Jindal’s administration argued that “the organization violated state law by entering a $4.3 million false-claims-act settlement in Texas two years ago,” and therefore they have cause to end the relationship.
“During the course of the state investigation into Planned Parenthood, it was discovered that Planned Parenthood is in violation of long-standing administrative rules applicable to Medicaid providers,” Health and Hospitals spokeswoman Olivia Watkins Hwang said in a statement provided to the Associated Press.
The Daily Signal previously reported that Jindal decided to terminate Planned Parenthood’s contract with the state of Louisiana following the release of several undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress depicting Planned Parenthood officials discussing the trafficking of aborted fetal body parts at the organization’s affiliates.
Profiting from the sale of fetal organs is illegal in the United States. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood have denied participation in illegal transactions.
Jindal’s administration had argued that state law permitted them to end the Medicaid contract “at will” as long as they provided 30 days’ notice.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against Jindal and asked a federal judge to block the governor’s order from going into effect.
According to the AP, the judge “questioned” the administration’s claim, so officials decided to provide cause.
According to a Justice Department statement from August 2013, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast paid $4.3 million to resolve civil allegations that they billed Medicaid for services that “were either not medically necessary, not medically indicated or not actually provided.”
Jindal’s administration argued that the settlement agreement constitutes a violation of the state’s regulations for Medicaid providers.
In a statement provided to the AP, Melissa Flournoy, the Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said, “It is shameful that Gov. Jindal is trying to score political points by blocking women’s access to critical, lifesaving health care.”
The Daily Signal also reported that Jindal’s office screened the Center for Medical Progress’ videos for Planned Parenthood supporters who gathered outside the governor’s mansion to protest his decision.