Planned Parenthood on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, asking the court to stop Gov. Bobby Jindal's efforts to cut off the health care provider from Medicaid funding.
Without a court injunction, more than 5,200 Planned Parenthood patients who rely on Medicaid for health care would have to find care elsewhere, the organization says.
"We're in court today to protect over 5,200 people's access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and basic health care in Louisiana," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. "Many of these folks would have nowhere else to turn for health care."
Richards slammed Jindal for attempting to cut Planned Parenthood funding "to score political points," charging that the governor's moves are putting women's health at risk.
Earlier this month, Jindal -- one of the contenders for the 2016 Republican nomination -- announced 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 who claim the organization is selling fetal tissue to researchers. Planned Parenthood has responded that it does not profit from its fetal tissue transfers and is not breaking any laws.
Meanwhile, 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.
After the conservative videos were released, members of Congress started investigating Planned Parenthood's practices. Multiple states have as well but so far have found the organization to be in compliance with state laws.
The conservative organization behind the controversy, the Center for Medical Progress, released yet another video this week showing undercover anti-abortion activists having lunch with Cate Dyer, CEO of the fetal research tissue provider StemExpress. In the video, Dyer seems to suggest that Planned Parenthood clinics profit from fetal tissue transfers, something the health care provider denies.
Meanwhile, the Center for Medical Progress last week received blowback for using an image of a stillborn child in a video that about abortions.