Here is the statement from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordering the termination of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract, in apparent violation of federal law.
One thing will never change: Planned Parenthood will do everything in our power to protect women’s access to health care in Arkansas. Our priority is and always will be providing high-quality and compassionate care to our patients.
Singling out Planned Parenthood and attempting to bar a woman’s access to our legal, constitutionally protected health care services is clearly a violation of the Medicaid statute that requires that a woman have her choice among qualified providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has warned officials in other states that it’s against the law to bar women from accessing care at Planned Parenthood because the organization provides safe, legal abortion. Similar laws have consistently been struck down.
This political grandstanding could have real and devastating consequences for women who rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and other lifesaving care. The politicians behind these reckless policies have allied themselves with extremists who will stop at nothing to end access to abortion – breaking laws, pushing misinformation, and violence and harassment of women and doctors.
Theoretically the feds could take aggressive action to stop the governor’s attempt to defy the law (including potentially blocking all Medicaid funds to the state). But ultimately, one has to think that a lawsuit will be coming from Planned Parenthood.