Communications Department

National Right to Life and South Carolina Citizens for Life Praise Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Baker v. Planned Parenthood

Apr 30, 2020 | 2020 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON, D.C.— On Wednesday, 137 members of Congress submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petition of Baker v. Planned Parenthood.

At issue is whether third parties, such as Planned Parenthood or their patients, have the right to ask federal courts to determine which providers can be reimbursed by Medicaid under Spending Clause contracts between the states and the federal government.

“We thank South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Representatives Jeff Duncan and Ralph Norman as well as other pro-life members of Congress for this amicus brief,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “It is vital that states be able to consistently support their interests in the right to life and that includes determining which health care providers are considered qualified for reimbursement under Medicaid.”

In 2018, South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, issued an executive order directing South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services to consider state abortion clinics “unqualified” for Medicaid reimbursement. Planned Parenthood sued in federal court arguing that the “any qualified provider” language in the Medicaid Act permits third parties to sue and asked the courts to determine who can be considered a “qualified” provider. Various circuit courts have issued conflicting opinions on the question, and Joshua Baker, South Carolina’s Director of Health and Human Services, is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the different opinions from the circuit courts over this issue.

“It is a privilege for South Carolina Citizens for Life to join in supporting this federal litigation seeking to protect the unborn children of our state,” said Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that the Constitution’s Spending Clause is a contractual agreement between state and federal governments. In the courts, a third party—Planned Parenthood—who benefits from the contractual agreement is asking for the right to insert itself through the courts. South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services already has a provision that allows providers to appeal decisions regarding who is a qualified provider. However, Planned Parenthood is seeking to have the right to sue in federal court.

“Planned Parenthood pulls in over a billion dollars a year, largely through Medicaid reimbursements, and the abortion giant has no qualms pursuing every penny of profit,” said Tobias. “It’s no surprise they are willing to go to court to keep their profit margin.”

Every year, while the number of abortions has dropped nationally, Planned Parenthood has increased the number of abortions it performs—making it the nation’s single largest abortion provider. In addition, this monolith of an organization boasts an annual income of over $1 billion.

A copy of the brief can be found here.