Judge Strikes Down AZ Law To Defund Planned Parenthood

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U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake has struck down a state law that attempted to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving any public funds to provide healthcare services for low-income women in Arizona.

The 2012 law sought to prevent women on the state’s AHCCCS program or other state-assisted programs from using Planned Parenthood’s clinics for their health-care needs.

Wake said the state overreached by declaring Planned Parenthood as unqualified to receive federal funds.

The state’s attorneys “present a strained interpretation of the word ‘qualified’ that would include any reasonable criteria a state sees fit to impose, regardless of whether the criteria relates to the ability to provide Medicaid services,” Wake wrote in his ruling. “That interpretation contradicts the plain meaning of the phrase ‘[providers that are] qualified to perform the service or services required,’ which describes qualified providers as those providers that are competent to provide the needed services.”

We’ll have reaction in this week’s Skinny. You can find more on the various legal fights over abortion here.

Here’s the PDF of Wake’s decision: 103_-_2013-02-08_-_Order_Granting_Summary_Judgment.pdf

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