“The lawsuit is also entirely without merit, and it seeks to impose draconian penalties on Planned Parenthood for doing nothing more than expecting these two states [TX and LA] to comply with a federal court order.” - Ian Millhiser, Vox
What is United States ex rel. Doe v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America?
In United States ex rel. Doe v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the state of Texas and an anonymous plaintiff are suing Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the three Planned Parenthood affiliates that provide vital sexual and reproductive health care — including birth control, life-saving cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment — in Texas and Louisiana, falsely alleging Planned Parenthood violated the False Claims Act.
Planned Parenthood did not commit Medicaid fraud. It is a baseless and politically motivated lawsuit that is before Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointed federal judge who recently ruled to end FDA approval of mifepristone, a safe and effective medication which has been used for more than two decades in more than 5 million medication abortions in the United States.
What’s at stake?
If the anonymous plaintiff and suspended and impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton get their way and the judge rules against PPFA and the three Planned Parenthood affiliates who provide health care in Texas, the consequences could be devastating for Texans — and millions of people nationwide.
This lawsuit has one goal: to shut down Planned Parenthood and strip millions of people in Texas and beyond of critical health care like cancer screenings, birth control, and other essential health care.
Planned Parenthood health centers are an essential source of expert, high-quality reproductive health care. Nationwide, they serve more than 2 million patients a year — providing care in particular to people with lower incomes, women, and other marginalized communities, often as a patient’s main source of health care.
What are the facts?
The lawsuit falsely alleges PPFA and the three Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates defrauded the state's Medicaid system by receiving payment for birth control and other preventive health care services the affiliates provided to eligible patients. The allegations are false. Planned Parenthood did not commit Medicaid fraud. In fact, a previous court ruled that the Texas affiliates could provide these services to Medicaid patients during the time period in question. Texas knew the affiliates were providing the services, reimbursed them for the services, and never asked the affiliates for repayment until filing this lawsuit years later.
FACT: The three Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates legally provided health care services for Texas Medicaid patients for years, under court orders, until courts allowed Texas to kick them out of the Medicaid program.
- The three Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates have no legal obligation to repay funds for health care services that were lawfully provided and paid for under state and federal law.
- There is no dispute that the three Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates provided the birth control, cancer screening, and other services they were paid for. There is no dispute that court orders permitted them to provide those services and be paid for them. At no point did the state of Texas ask the Planned Parenthood affiliates to pay the money back.
- This lawsuit was brought with the sole goal of shutting down Planned Parenthood, which could severely affect access to critical health care like cancer screenings, birth control, and other essential health care for people in Texas and across the country. That’s exactly why the anonymous plaintiff and the state of Texas are trying to force Planned Parenthood to pay $1.8 billion. They are supposed to help their constituents, but instead they're trying to make it harder for them to get the care they need.
FACT: The anonymous plaintiff filed this lawsuit in federal court in Amarillo — a single-judge courthouse where all cases are assigned to one Trump appointee — even though the case has no connection to Amarillo, Texas. This is the same judge who previously ruled to end FDA approval of mifepristone, the safe, effective medication which has been used for more than two decades in more than 5 million medication abortions in the United States. He also ruled to limit minors’ access to birth control through Title X.
- There is no Planned Parenthood affiliate health center in or anywhere close to Amarillo. The closest health center is more than 100 miles away.
- No relevant witness, government official, or care provider resides in Amarillo.
- None of the Medicaid claims in question were filed from Amarillo.
FACT: This lawsuit is based on patently false allegations that were made in heavily edited and disproven videos. This is part of a years-long campaign from anti-abortion rights politicians and their allies to shut down Planned Parenthood regardless of the facts.
- This lawsuit recycles accusations about Planned Parenthood that were found to be completely false upon close inspection by government officials, law enforcement, and multiple courts. Those bad actors broke the law to spread malicious disinformation in order to advance their agenda to block patients’ access to basic health care and shut down Planned Parenthood.
- Over and over again, it has been shown that the anti-abortion operatives behind the videos engaged in fraud to deceive the public.
FACT: PPFA does not, and has never, provided health care services and has never submitted any reimbursement claim to any Medicaid program.
- PPFA is a membership organization that develops medical and organizational standards for its member affiliates across the country and permits its members to operate under and use the “Planned Parenthood” service mark. PPFA has no control over whether or how affiliates participate in Medicaid programs.
In the news:
- Vox: Ian Millhiser provides an overview of the case
- Ms. Magazine: In ‘Baseless’ Texas Lawsuit, Matthew Kacsmaryk Could Singlehandedly Shut Down Planned Parenthood
- The 19th: Planned Parenthood asks judge to rule in Texas Medicaid fraud suit
- Austin American Statesman: Even with abortion banned, Paxton battles Planned Parenthood