Washington, D.C. – Just now, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit ruled to protect more than 5,200 Louisianans’ access to birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers through the Medicaid program. In its order, the court wrote: “... the public interest weighs in favor of preliminarily enforcing the Individual Plaintiffs’ rights and allowing some of the state’s neediest individuals to continue receiving medical care from a much needed provider.” Find more details on the case in this backgrounder.
This comes as politicians in at least 24 states have taken action to “defund” and block care at Planned Parenthood, many of them Southern and Gulf states where women face the threat of Zika. These "defunding" policies in states like Louisiana, Florida, and Texas jeopardize the very health care that the CDC recommends as the primary strategy to reduce Zika-related pregnancy complications, including birth control, health education, and other family planning care.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“This ruling is a win for Louisianans and their families. Women’s access to health care is being threatened by politicians across the country. The risk of Zika in the Gulf Region underscores why politicians should be making it easier, and not harder, for women to get preventive care. We’ll keep fighting in Louisiana, Florida, and across the country until every last person can receive the care they need.”
Statement from Raegan Carter, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
“This victory is critically important for thousands of Louisianans across our state – people who deserve to have their health come before political agendas. As a Louisianian and a woman of color, this is very personal. People of color in our community already face too many systemic barriers to care – and blocking care at Planned Parenthood would make it even worse. For all our patients, this isn’t about politics – it’s about access to fundamental health care.”
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and three of its patients are represented by lawyers from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and New Orleans attorney William Rittenberg.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
September 14, 2016