The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeals of Louisiana and Kansas, who were challenging lower courts' decisions to prevent the states from excluding Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid contractor.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented. The newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was among the justices voting not to hear the case.
Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said he is disappointed with the decision.
"Planned Parenthood was exposed for selling the body parts of aborted babies, and it should be the prerogative of Louisiana to determine how tax dollars are spent in this state," he said. "As Justice Thomas clearly outlines in his dissent, this is an important question on Medicaid law that has been disputed in various courts across the nation, leading to a split in the circuits. It was time for the Supreme Court to provide guidance to the states. Unfortunately, it declined, which will only lead to further confusion in years to come.
"Today’s decision, however, does not invalidate Louisiana 2016 Act 304, initiated by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Act 304 prevents public funds from going to any 'entity or organization that performs abortions, or that contracts with an entity or organization that performs abortions, in this state.' Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has yet to perform abortions in Louisiana, though they have applied for an outpatient abortion facility license with the Louisiana Department of Health for their facility on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. Louisiana and Planned Parenthood are currently in federal court in dispute over the application.
"We expect future legal cases on the important question of taxpayer funds lining the pockets of the abortion industry. We look forward to the Supreme Court deciding that it is the right of the state to put a firewall between tax dollars and the business of abortion.”