A divided US Supreme Court declined hearing pleas from Republican-led states of Louisiana and Kansas demanding to block state funds to Planned Parenthood in the states. Earlier, lower courts had prohibited thestates from blocking funding to the women-centric health organization. Planned Parenthood is a health organization that focuses on women healthcare andprovides services related to birth control, STD, and cancer screenings. Three conservative judges in Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas agreed to hear the plea against Planned Parenthood. However, two other conservative judges in Justice John Roberts and the newly sworn-in Brett Kavanaugh sidedwith the majority of the Supreme Court judges to deny the plea.
The controversy regarding the healthcare institution arose when videos of Planned Parenthood officials selling fetal tissues and organs were released by an anti-abortion organization known by the name of Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The revelation triggered the states of Louisiana and Kansas to file for blocking the funding to Planned Parenthood under Medicaid.Notably, the plea did not concern abortion services provided by the institutionas using federal money for abortions is against the federal law.
Planned Parenthood is a well-established healthcare organization in the US that provides affordable health care to millions of women across the country. The healthcare institution was estimated to serve over 68% of female patients on contraceptives in Louisiana during 2015.Further, blocking funds to Planned Parenthood would have forced safety-netclinics in more than 65 percent of US counties to double their resources in order to meet up with the burden created due to shutting down of the organization’s services. A similar trend was noticed when women in Texas were prohibited from accessing health services provided by Planned Parenthood. The statistics registered in the state suggested that over 30,000 women did not access public the health services due to the organization’s closure in Texas.Another staggering figure that raised a question on the plea was that over185,000 women in Kansas were eligible for receiving family planning servicesduring 2014. Additionally, an increase in the number of STD rates in Iowa afterthe government ordered Planned Parenthood to shut down four of its healthcarecenters in the state further provides strength to the Supreme Court’s decision.
With conservatives in the majority in the US Supreme Court, the institution can expect to face hindrances in its path for providing affordable health care to millions of women in the country.