The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by two states that want to cut Medicaid funds from providers like Planned Parenthood, keeping in place lower court opinions that anti-abortion advocates oppose. The states, Kansas and Louisiana, argued that Medicaid does not allow individual patients to sue if state officials refuse to cover a provider’s non-abortion services because the provider sometimes separately performs abortions. Current law under the Hyde amendment already prevents federal funding from covering abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the woman. At issue was whether Medicaid patients could sue if states blocked coverage of a provider’s services like cancer screenings and contraception. The move in Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is a win for abortion-rights advocates, who celebrated the court’s decision. Two conservatives, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the more liberal justices in rejecting the appeal. That surprised some conservative groups who had hoped that the addition of Kavanaugh to the court would open the possibility to further restricting abortion. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., and Neil M. Gorsuch dissented, arguing that the court should have taken up… Read full this story
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