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US Supreme Court sends case about taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood back to 4th Circuit

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to vacate a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and remand it back to that court to reconsider its ruling in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski. At issue in Kerr is whether pro-life states like South Carolina can direct Medicaid funds—funds intended to help low-income individuals obtain necessary medical assistance—away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood:

“Pro-life states like South Carolina should be free to determine that Planned Parenthood and other entities that peddle abortion are not qualified to receive taxpayer funding through Medicaid. Congress did not unambiguously create a right for Medicaid recipients to drag states into federal court to challenge those decisions, so no such right exists. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Talevski makes that even clearer. And we’re grateful the 4th Circuit will have another opportunity to hold that Congress did not intend to allow federal courts to second guess states’ decisions about which providers are qualified to receive Medicaid funding.”

After South Carolina determined that Planned Parenthood was not qualified to receive taxpayer funding as part of its Medicaid program, a federal district court forced the state to restore Planned Parenthood’s funding, concluding that Medicaid recipients have a right to choose their preferred provider. Representing the director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, ADF attorneys appealed to the 4th Circuit, which ruled against allowing the state to terminate Planned Parenthood as a qualified Medicaid provider. ADF attorneys then filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to hear the case and affirm that the Medicaid Act does not create a private right for Medicaid recipients to challenge a state’s decision that a specific provider like Planned Parenthood is not qualified to receive taxpayer funding.

  • Pronunciation guide: Schandevel (SHAN’-deh-vell)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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