Healthcare

Judge halts Jindal’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood

Bobby Jindal, 2016
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A federal judge ruled Monday that Louisiana must keep making Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for at least two more weeks, extending a weeks-long legal battle waged by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.

After a round of questioning with Jindal on Friday, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles in Baton Rouge delivered his decision early Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Jindal said Monday that he will appeal the decision and “continue to fight to ensure Planned Parenthood no longer receives taxpayer funding,” spokesman Mike Reed said.

{mosads}On Friday, DeGravelles had taken issue with the timing of Jindal’s move to halt the payments, which would have gone into effect Monday without the court’s intervention. 

Jindal, who is running for president, announced last month that he was cutting off the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood after the group was targeted by undercover videos.

Planned Parenthood has faced no charges in the months-long controversy, and praised Monday’s decision.

“This ruling is a victory for the more than 5,200 women and men in Louisiana who rely on Planned Parenthood for care through Medicaid,” said Melissa Flournoy, Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. 

The health provider immediately filed suit, arguing that the state’s move was illegal.

Jindal fought back Monday, arguing that Planned Parenthood is “running to the federal courts and asking for special treatment” instead of going through administrative review.

The court battle is being closely watched by several other states that have followed Jindal’s lead, including Alabama and Arkansas. Both are now facing similar legal challenges.

The Obama administration has already warned Jindal — as well as the governors of Alabama and Arkansas — that they cannot cancel Medicaid contracts. Planned Parenthood has also launched lawsuits against those governors.

—This post was updated at 11:37 a.m. 

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