Brief asks Court to allow states to decide whether to fund abortion providers through Medicaid
Pennsylvania Family Institute joined Family Policy Alliance, Independence Law Center and over 30 other state organizations in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let states decide whether to cover abortion providers under their state Medicaid programs.
These state organizations filed their friend-of-the-court brief in Kerr v. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. The case comes out of South Carolina, where the state Medicaid program does not include abortion providers among its covered (“qualified”) providers for Medicaid recipients. The regional Planned Parenthood and a Medicaid recipient who wanted Medicaid to cover her birth control at a Planned Parenthood facility sued the state.
Craig DeRoche, CEO and President of Family Policy Alliance, said, “Here’s what this case is about: Planned Parenthood wants to force taxpayers to fund their abortion business, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. But states should be able to tell Planned Parenthood ‘no,’ just as they should be able to say no to abortion itself. This case is about states’ rights under the Medicaid statute to make those critical decisions.”
Randy Wenger, Chief Counsel at Independence Law Center, said, “States are permitted to decide what providers are qualified under Medicaid. If states like South Carolina want to use limited resources to promote holistic healthcare rather than providers that are focused only on abortion and related services, they should be free to do so. That’s the best way to provide high quality healthcare to the women of our states.”
Medicaid is a cooperative program between states and the federal government, with both entities contributing taxpayer dollars toward each state’s program. Federal tax dollars cannot be used to pay for most abortions, but abortion providers still receive government funding for other services in some states.
Not every medical provider is “qualified” to receive Medicaid funds, and states make a determination which providers are qualified. While Planned Parenthood could have gone through a standard appeals process in South Carolina state court to contest its disqualification, it instead chose to sue in federal court – a move that is not provided for under the Medicaid statute and ultimately harms the low-income families Medicaid is designed to serve.
The case comes as the nation awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson, a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. Even if that case results in a Roe overturn, the question of Medicaid funding in Kerr will still need to be resolved: can states exercise their right to determine what constitutes a qualified provider under Medicaid?
Full list of signing organizations
- Alaska Family Council
- Center for Arizona Policy
- California Family Council
- Delaware Family Policy Council
- Florida Family Policy Council
- Frontline Policy Council (Georgia)
- Hawaii Family Forum
- Indiana Family Institute
- The Family Leader (Iowa)
- The Family Foundation (Kentucky)
- Louisiana Family Forum
- Christian Civic League of Maine
- Massachusetts Family Institute
- Michigan Family Forum
- Minnesota Family Council
- Nebraska Family Alliance
- Cornerstone Action of New Hampshire
- Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
- Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico
- New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms
- North Carolina Family Policy Council
- North Dakota Family Alliance
- Center for Christian Virtue (Ohio)
- Palmetto Family Council (South Carolina)
- Pennsylvania Family Institute
- Family Policy Alliance of Rhode Island
- Family Heritage Alliance (South Dakota)
- Texas Values
- The Family Foundation (Virginia)
- Family Policy Institute of Washington
- Wisconsin Family Action
- Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming