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Judge Reinstates Arkansas' Planned Parenthood Funding

States pander to their extreme right-wing voters, but they do so at the risk of breaking the law.

Despite all the right-wing hand-wringing over Planned Parenthood, faux videos and abortion, states still just don't get to revoke funding willy-nilly and over false accusations.

Arkansas is now going to learn that, just like Florida and several other states have.

A federal judge on Friday ordered Arkansas to temporarily reinstate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood after the state blocked funding over concerns about secretly recorded videos released by an anti-abortion group.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's request to block for 14 days the state from denying funding to the organization. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson last month announced he was terminating the contract.

The state's cancellation of the contract took effect Sunday, and Planned Parenthood says it would have affected Medicaid patients scheduled to visit its health centers starting Sept. 21.

The state says Planned Parenthood received more than $51,000 in Medicaid payments in Arkansas over the past fiscal year for family planning and gynecological services. None of the money went toward abortions.

Hutchinson earlier this year signed into law a measure prohibiting public funding to abortion providers and entities that refer women to abortion providers, a move aimed at blocking any money to Planned Parenthood. But the new law didn't apply to Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood had previously received money for sex education funding.

Medicaid money has to follow special federal rules, which include providing women's health services whether the wingnuts in the state like it or not. I hope funding is reinstated by federal court order, and these nuts get a clue. Okay, I'll hope for the first and never expect to see the second.


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