CBS News: Abortion controversy overshadows Planned Parenthood health services

CBS News: Abortion controversy overshadows Planned Parenthood health services

By Ashley Welch

Republican calls to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, after an anti-abortion group released a series of undercover videos, have put a spotlight on the organization in recent weeks. The videos, which allegedly showed Planned Parenthood medical officers discussing the sale of fetal tissue to researchers, sparked widespread outrage, although the group said it did nothing illegal and that the videos were misleading.

The laws governing Medicaid prevent states from excluding certain providers solely because of other medical services they provide, such as abortions. Medicaid recipients must also be allowed to seek treatment from anyone who is qualified to perform the services — the so-called “freedom of choice” provision.

So if such a bill were to pass, it would violate existing federal law and almost certainly face a challenge in court, Susan Fogel, the Director of Reproductive Health for the National Health Law Program, told CBS News.

“The freedom of choice provision is really very strong and you’re allowed to go to any willing Medicaid provider who is qualified to provide that service,” she said. “Planned Parenthood is absolutely qualified to provide those services, and individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have the guaranteed freedom of choice to go to that provider that they choose.” Read the full article here. »

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