Funding for Planned Parenthood grew during 2017 and 2018 due to an increase in Medicaid dollars despite President Donald Trump’s promise to defund the organization and cut off millions of patients from affordable health care, reports The Washington Post.
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the United States and also receives millions of dollars in public funding for other healthcare services.
Limiting abortion has become a signature issue for the president – in 2016 he called for defunding of the organization and pledged to look ''very, very carefully'' at Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that guarantees the constitutional right to abortion.
Medicaid payments are the backbone of Planned Parenthood as nearly half of the organization’s patients receive healthcare coverage under the program. The provider reported $616.8 million in government revenue for the 2018-19 fiscal year, up from $543.7 million when Trump took office in 2017.
Many conservative states have sought to deprive Planned Parenthood of government money, but the organization often wins in court – the U.S. Supreme Court last Tuesday turned away South Carolina’s bid to cut off public funding to the organization because of a provision in the federal Medicaid statute.
The state took the action after Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, issued executive orders declaring that any abortion provider would be unqualified to provide family planning services and cutting off state funding to them.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 rejected similar appeals by Louisiana and Kansas seeking to terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding. At that time, three conservative justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — said the court should have heard the states’ appeals.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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