Late last night the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a preliminary injunction so now the state of Texas can block Medicaid funding to abortion providers because of the undercover videos that demonstrated a severe lack of accepted medical and ethical standards. The court also returned the case to the district court for further consideration. This ruling is fitting on the eve of the March for Life in Washington, D.C. today.
Liberty Counsel’s client Sandra Merritt is one of the creators of these undercover videos. She received an award today at the National Memorial for the Preborn. Liberty Counsel worked successfully to have previous charges in Texas dismissed. The lawsuit was seeking to punish Merritt for exposing Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts. In addition, Merritt is facing 15 frivolous felony charges, brought by the Attorney General of California. The state’s Attorney General has financial ties directly to Planned Parenthood.
In reversing the district court’s ruling imposing a preliminary injunction against Texas’ exclusion of Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding, the Fifth Circuit dismissed the lower court’s attempt to discredit the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stated: “The district court stated, inaccurately, that the CMP video had not been authenticated and suggested that it may have been edited. In fact, the record reflects that OIG (Texas Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General) had submitted a report from a forensic firm concluding that the video was authentic and not deceptively edited. And the plaintiffs did not identify any particular omission or addition in the video footage.” The Fifth Circuit quoted extensively from the videos and included a still shot from one of the videos showing some of the body parts of unborn children harvested during abortions. The appellate court agreed with the State of Texas that the videos and other evidence provided to the state from federal and state investigations arising from the videos justified the state’s determination that Planned Parenthood does not deserve Medicaid funding. The ruling stated the group was “not qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner under the relevant provisions of state and federal law pertaining to Medicaid providers.”
“Abortion providers were caught selling baby organs,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “There should be significant repercussions for completely disregarding the laws of our nation and the lives and dignity of these women and children. This ruling demonstrates the importance of Sandra Merritt’s work to shine a light on, and bring justice to, the abortion industry,” said Staver.
Yesterday’s ruling demonstrates the importance of Merritt’s journalistic work and how Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion field are seeking to illegally profit off the bodies of dead babies. A report shows that Advanced Bioscience Resource has harvested aborted baby organs for research for more than what is legally reimbursable. The 11-page report details how it charged universities a significantly marked-up price for the organs it harvested from aborted babies received from Planned Parenthood. The Center for Medical Progress released a new report showing ABR charged prices that indicate the organization may have been marking up the cost of fetal tissue and organs beyond what is legal.