A federal court on Thursday blocked Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration from cutting off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, concluding that more than 5,000 residents of the state would lose access to health care if the state revoked its funding.
Jindal -- one of the contenders for the 2016 Republican nomination -- announced in August that his state would terminate its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood. The announcement came in response to a series of undercover videos produced by anti-abortion activists that focused on the transfer of fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood facilities to research organizations.
There are only two Planned Parenthood facilities in Louisiana, and neither performs abortions. The organization points out that according to the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's East Baton Rouge clinic served 60 percent of the female contraceptive clients served at publicly funded clinics in 2010.
The U.S. district court ordered the state to maintain Planned Parenthood funding while the organization's lawsuit against the Jindal administration proceeds.
Other states have also unsucessfully tried to cut off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. Courts have blocked those efforts in Alabama, Arkansas and Utah.
The increased scrutiny facing Planned Parenthood followed the release of the undercover videos, which seemed to suggest that Planned Parenthood was breaking the law by facilitating fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood has maintained that it never made a profit this way -- and thus did not break the law. However, to erase any doubts about its motives, Planned Parenthood subsequently announced it would stop taking reimbursements for the transfer of fetal tissue. The group has also said it welcomes a renewed debate over the practice of fetal tissue research.
Meanwhile, the Republican-led House of Representatives has formed a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood.