Texas Officials Raid Planned Parenthood

Barb Wire

Yesterday, Texas officials served subpoenas to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Brownsville to determine if their employees are guilty of defrauding Texas’ Medicaid program and if Medicaid money was used to fund abortions. Texas employees were required to hand over thousands of documents, a move which the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’ vice president for community affairs, Sarah Wheat, said “was unprecedented.”This comes several days after officials announced that Texas will remove Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program, in light of footage released by the Center for Medical Progress this summer directly implicating the Texas affiliate. The footage revealed a Gulf Coast Planned Parenthood affiliate with its offices in Houston may be involved in altering the abortion method to obtain intact fetal cadavers or to get intact baby organs. A top Planned Parenthood official there said that “splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.” Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr. cited the footage as well as a “prima facie case of fraud.” Governor Greg Abbott (R) said in a statement, “The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end.”

This is not the first time that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been in hot water. In 2013, it paid $4.3 million to settle allegations of Medicaid fraud. In 2012, Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director in Texas, filed a lawsuit against Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates alleging that they were fraudulently billing the Texas Women’s Health Program of more than $5.7 million by submitting almost 90,000 “repeated false, fraudulent, and ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements.” An Alliance Defending Freedom report reveals that this is happening at Planned Parenthood affiliates all over the nation.

Today the U.S. House worked to follow Texas’s lead. It passed a budget reconciliation bill by 240 votes which would remove a huge pot of federal funding under Medicaid and other mandatory programs from Planned Parenthood. The Senate should follow suit. The House bill would also eliminate key elements of ObamaCare, which subsidizes abortion and forces people to purchase health plans in violation of their conscience. Republicans in the Senate now have the opportunity to work toward keeping their campaign promises that helped them secure the Congressional majority. For our friends in the Senate who think the House bill is not strong enough, we encourage them to try and make the measure even better. The House leadership has said they will accept any improvements the Senate makes to the bill that will eliminate much of Planned Parenthood’s funding and remove the heart of ObamaCare.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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