Today, the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting jointly as an en banc court, ruled that individual Planned Parenthood patients do not have legal authority under the Medicaid statute to challenge a state’s decision to disqualify Planned Parenthood affiliates from the Medicaid program. Today’s decision sets up a clear and deep division between the federal appeals courts over the question, and virtually guarantees that the U.S. Supreme Court will have to resolve it soon despite declining to do so recently in cases out of Louisiana, Kansas, and South Carolina.

Americans United for Life has filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of South Carolina and Kansas in the Supreme Court and Texas in the Fifth Circuit, as well as a brief in support of Louisiana on behalf of 24 Senators and 66 Representatives in Congress, urging the courts to review these cases and recognize the sovereign authority of states. Steven H. Aden, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel said:

Americans United for Life is grateful that another federal appeals court has affirmed that the Medicaid statute does not permit Planned Parenthood to prop up its patients in federal court lawsuits to challenge state decisions to disqualify the abortion giant for unethical conduct. AUL remains hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up this critical issue at its earliest opportunity and affirm that this is the rule in all 50 states.

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization that holds the distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America—incorporated in 1971. It protects and defends human life from conception to natural death through vigorous legislative, judicial, and educational efforts.