Wednesday, 12 December 2018 17:03

Mainers react to Supreme Court decision on Planned Parenting Featured

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BANGOR - Some in Maine are celebrating a Supreme Court decision that forces states to provide Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood healthcare services, and others are not.

A controversial and now mostly-debunked video surfaced in 2015 appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

That video caused some states to terminate contracts with any abortion providers.

However, lower courts ruled against the states, saying they cannot terminate service providers from their Medicaid program "for any reason they see fit, especially when that reason is unrelated to the provider's competence."

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the lower court's decision by not taking up the case.

“We were disappointed,” said Carrol Conley, Christian Civic League of Maine executive director.

“Our disappointment is that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country and that it shouldn't be tax funded.”

The case does not involve Medicaid money for abortions - that is barred by federal law - but rather, blocking Medicaid funding for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood that also provide other health services to low-income women.

“This was really a technical ruling on who has the right to challenge those state's decisions to take people off Medicaid,” said Kate Brogan, Maine Family Planning vice president of public affairs. “And that was all it was. It was really not an indication of what the court is going to do when they get cases about abortion, which they will.”

“We don't see this as an indication, a definitive indication, of a majority of the court supporting Roe vs. Wade going forward,” said George Hill, president and CEO of Maine Family Planning.

With cases making their way through the court system in Ohio and Arkansas, it's reasonable to expect the Supreme Court will make decisions about Roe vs. Wade in the next year or two.

In Monday's ruling, “They are not saying it's not a legitimate issue. They're not saying it's something they might not deal with later.”

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...