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Obama administration warns states it’s illegal to defund Planned Parenthood

The Obama Administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to state governments Tuesday claiming that defunding Planned Parenthood would be in violation of federal law.

According to the letter, a health provider offering abortions “neither disqualifies a provider from participating in the Medicaid program, nor is the provision of such services inconsistent with the best interests of the beneficiary,” and “shall not be grounds for a state’s action against a provider in the Medicaid program.”

The Obama Administration has sent similar letters in the past arguing that state efforts to cut abortion providers off from Medicaid funds are illegal, and has even threatened to sue states for doing so. Ten states have defunded the abortion giant in the wake of its ongoing controversy over selling the organs of aborted babies.

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However, Alliance Defending Freedom has explained that states do have legal discretion over Medicaid recipients within their own borders. “In the last two decades or so, about 9,000 providers [were] excluded from Medicaid. In most of those cases, they’re completely uncontroversial,” ADF’s Casey Mattox says. “When it’s Planned Parenthood, however, you have the Centers for Medicaid Services reinterpret the Medicaid statute to deny states the opportunity to exclude those providers.”

Approximately 41 percent of Planned Parenthood’s annual revenue comes from government grants and reimbursements, giving the abortion giant a substantial incentive to maintain its funding. President Barack Obama holds the record as the top recipient of campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood, receiving $133,763 over the years.

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