Arkansas Ends Medicaid Payments To Planned Parenthood

Defying a warning from the Federal government, Arkansas has ended its medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood. As the AP reports, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered the Arkansas Department of Human Services to end its Medicaid provider contract with the organization. The contract will be terminated in 30 days.

“It is apparent that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them,”

The Obama administration warned states not to defund Planned Parenthood as it could violate the law. Arkansas, along with two other states, has decided to disregard the Federal Government’s warning and cut funding to the controversial organization.

Planned Parenthood has been a topic of discussion since the release of videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials arranging to sell aborted fetal tissue. The videos were filmed by the Center for Medical Progress, which is an anti-abortion group. Undercover videographers posing as employees of a biotechnology company were able to film private interactions they had with Planned Parenthood officials.

The Center for Medical Progress alleges that Planned Parenthood is violating a federal law that prohibits anyone from profiting off of the sales of aborted fetuses.

Predictably, representatives of Planned Parenthood said the allegations against their organization are false. Vice President of Communication at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Eric Ferrero, said that the claims made against the organization are wrong and lacking any real evidence.

“The video released today shows someone who has never worked for Planned Parenthood making false and outrageous claims, without any evidence to back them up.”

Not only did Planned Parenthood say that the allegations were false, but they also condemned states that take action against them. Citing, federal law, the organization said that patients must have their choice of Medicaid-qualified care. As reported by the Huffington Post, Angie Remington, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, suggested that the governors of the three states are breaking federal law.

“Federal law requires that patients have their choice of a Medicaid-qualified provider–like Planned Parenthood.”

A spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the Huffington Post that there are laws in place to keep states from restricting access to qualified providers.

“Longstanding Medicaid laws prohibit states from restricting individuals who have coverage through Medicaid from receiving care from a qualified provider.”

Along with Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama also took similar action in reaction to the Planned Parenthood videos.

[Photo by Matt Sullivan / Getty Images]