Monday, November 30, 2020 : By Nathan Skates
The impact of a pro-life President was illustrated this past week when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a prior appellate ruling that prevented Texas from banning state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.
In making its decision, the court also reversed a 2015 panel decision that prevented Louisiana from instituting a similar ban, and it also affects Mississippi.
Fox News noted that six judges appointed by President Trump now sit on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, four of whom participated in the case. All four joined with the eleven-judge majority opinion to reverse the previous ruling, finding that the seven Medicaid patients who sued over the ban did not have standing to do so. Judge Priscilla Owen wrote,“…whether a provider is ‘qualified’…is a matter to be resolved between the State (or the federal government) and the provider.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and has been a target of conservative states, particularly since journalist David Daleiden’s video emerged of the organization allegedly selling fetal remains for profit. Both Texas and Louisiana removed Planned Parenthood clinics as approved abortion providers as a result of the video expose.
After the reversal, Daleiden said, “The full federal 5th Circuit’s decision this week confirms that our undercover footage is accurate and reliable evidence of serious criminality in the abortion industry and fetal trafficking enterprises, and it affirms the broad authority that state and federal administrators have to defund entities like Planned Parenthood for illegally selling the body parts of aborted infants.”
Dissenting Judge James Dennis wrote that the decision conflicts with previous rulings and leaves people “vulnerable to unlawful state interference with their choice of health care providers.” After watching Daleiden’s video, Dennis said that Texas had no “factual support to conclude the bases of termination.”
Conservatives see Planned Parenthood as the face of the abortion industry, while liberals claim that the agency is a necessary women’s health provider.
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill-Johnson said the Texas ban “would have a devastating impact on Texans.”
Abby Johnson, pro-life advocate and former director of a Texas Planned Parenthood affiliate, told Fox News, “There’s no reason for women to go to Planned Parenthood to receive health care when they can go to far superior health care centers and receive more comprehensive health care services.”
Fox reported: “About a third of the revenue received at Planned Parenthood (34 percent) is from government health services reimbursements and grants, such as Medicaid and Title X. In 2017, those reimbursements and grants added up to $564 million — all of which went to health centers for medical services.”
The decision shows how important the Presidency is for the abortion debate. Some claim that the chief executive isn’t that important on the issue of abortion, that the state legislatures and Congress make the laws. However, it is the federal courts where abortion laws and regulations have been decided.
President Trump’s commitment to filling court vacancies with conservative constitutionalists is what makes these decisions possible. President Trump’s Supreme Court nominations have received widespread attention, as they should; however, his work filling other federal court vacancies has flown under the radar.
One can be certain that Joe Biden will appoint justices who are diametrically opposed to Trump’s appointees. This Presidential election will have monumental consequences on a wide array of issues — especially on the subject of abortion.