Oklahoma must have been on the nice list this year, because Santa, this time played by U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot, gave them what they asked for – the right to stop doing business with Planned Parenthood, whose efforts received only a lump of coal.
The state had contracted with Planned Parenthood to administer federal WIC services to poor mothers and young children but chose not to renew the contract, citing the group’s poor performance. Planned Parenthood sued, claiming that Oklahoma was discriminating against them for their abortion stance. Judge Friot disagreed:
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot of the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that Planned Parenthood failed to prove its contract with the state’s department of health was terminated for political reasons related to the group’s support of abortion rights. The state contract ends on January 1.
The judge said Planned Parenthood’s performance shortfalls – mostly drops in caseload – did not themselves seem to be problems that could lead to a cut in ties.
“But a routine, solvable problem can become a justifiable basis for strong action when it is compounded by persistent unresponsiveness in addressing the challenge,” Friot wrote in his decision.
Driving Planned Parenthood out of our communities, wallets, and governments is always a reason to celebrate, and the fact that the abortion giant felt so entitled to the state’s business that it sued to keep it is all the more reason to knock the operators at PP down a peg.
The real absurdity is that this ever made it to court in the first place. No organization has a fundamental right to a state contract; it’s a matter of the state’s discretion, and the people’s final approval of that discretion, where the people’s money goes and how the state’s business is conducted. It’s a question of policy, not litigation.
If the people at Planned Parenthood don’t like getting shafted, let them persuade the voters of Oklahoma that they should get the contract back. Courts are for broken laws and violated rights; an organization should need more than a bruised ego and bottom line to waste the courts’ time.
Moreover, opposition to Planned Parenthood’s abortion stance would have been every bit as valid a reason to cut the cord as opposition to its performance issues. You don’t need a reason to not give someone something you don’t owe him in the first place, and just as individuals don’t need special permission to exercise their basic rights, states shouldn’t have to be dragged before a judge to justify the exercise of their simplest and least controversial powers.
Of course, Planned Parenthood has no more respect for the state’s rights than it does for those of the individual or private entity. Their presumption is really no more complicated than “if our interests are in play, we win.” If pro-aborts hope to get off the naughty list next Christmas, they should think about treating their fellow citizens a little more fairly.