One year after Texas banned most abortions in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the state could bankrupt the largest abortion provider. Texas is suing Planned Parenthood for millions in Medicaid charges rung up after the organization was booted off of Medicaid. "Planned Parenthood was caught in an undercover operation a few years ago harvesting and selling body parts from babies that were aborted at their facilities," says Dr. Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. "They were eliminated from the state Medicaid program because they were engaged in fraud---selling the body parts."
Planned Parenthood challenged their removal from Medicaid in court, but continued to bill the program while the case played out. Ultimately, the courts sided with Texas, but not before Planned Parenthood had charged some $17 million to the program. "They were fraudulently billing the state of Texas, milking them out of money for our tax dollars," says Pojman. "The state of Texas deserves that back with penalties. This is according to federal law and state law."
"Simply put, Planned Parenthood does not deserve that money, the state of Texas should get it back."
In addition to the $17 million in actual Medicaid charges, Texas is seeking more than $1 billion in penalties, fines and punitive damages. A federal judge in North Texas heard arguments in the case last week. If the state wins the case, the future of Planned Parenthood in Texas is uncertain.
"We don't know if the national office will try and keep Planned Parenthood alive, or whether the three affiliates in Texas will end up closing," says Pojman. "At this point, we just don't know."