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Arkansas will challenge decision barring state from cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood

by | Oct 7, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Arkansas Solicitor General Lee P. Rudofsky

Arkansas Solicitor General Lee P. Rudofsky

On Monday Arkansas Solicitor General Lee P. Rudofsky filed a notice of appeal saying the state intends to appeal U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker’s preliminary injunction that prevents Arkansas from cutting state funding of Planned Parenthood. Her decision was limited to three “Jane Does.”

On Friday Judge Baker had imposed the injunction as a 14-day temporary restraining order she’d issued was set to expire.

Judge Baker Baker said the preliminary injunction applied only to the three women who filed the lawsuit September 11, along with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH). She said it would remain in effect “until further notice.”

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker

On Monday afternoon, attorneys for the three unidentified women asked that the lawsuit proceed as a class action “on behalf of a class comprised of the Jane Doe plaintiffs and all other persons similarly situated, namely: patients who seek to obtain, or desire to obtain, health care services in Arkansas at PPH through the Medicaid program.” The lawsuit, they argued, should cover current and future Medicaid patients who seek treatment at Planned Parenthood.

In mid-August Gov. Asa Hutchinson directed the state Department of Human Services to stop disbursing Medicaid funds to pay for the organization’s services. (Planned Parenthood of the Heartland operates clinics in Little Rock and one in Fayetteville.)

Referring to the then-six undercover videos brought to the public’s attention by the Center for Medical Progress, Gov. Hutchinson said

‘It is apparent that after recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them.”

In her ruling last Friday, the Associated Press reported, Judge Baker “declined to bar the introduction of the videos in further proceedings, but dismissed them from immediate consideration as ‘inadmissible hearsay.’”

Categories: PPFA