Supreme Court denies South Carolina effort to revoke Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding
Washington The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up an effort by South Carolina's Republican leadership to cut funding to Planned Parenthood by excluding abortion clinics from the state's Medicaid program.
The court, without comment, declined to lift lower courts' decisions to block an executive order by the state's governor, Henry McMaster, looking to exclude abortion clinics from serving as family planning providers under Medicaid.
The order comes during the second day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who has expressed views at odds with abortion rights and whose critics fear and backers hope will roll back access to the procedure from the high court.
这项命令是在唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)总统的最高法院提名人艾米·科尼·巴雷特(Amy Coney Barrett)确认听证会的第二天发布的。巴雷特曾发表过与堕胎权相左的观点，批评人士担心，支持者希望这将使高等法院无法进入堕胎程序。
Asserting that "abortion clinics' primary focus on denying the right to life is contrary to and conflicts with the state's obligation to protect and preserve that right," McMaster's order subsequently deemed them "unqualified to provide family planning services."
Medicaid funding, however, does not cover abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman's life is at risk, due to the Hyde Amendment dating back to 1976.
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and one of its patients, Julie Edwards, sued the state in 2018, arguing that the organization provides "safe, legal abortion outside the Medicaid program" and that the order violated federal law allowing Medicaid recipients to seek care from any qualified provider.
District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis eventually blocked McMaster's order from taking effect, writing that Planned Parenthood South Atlantic was "professionally competent and is capable of performing family planning services for Medicaid patients" and that federal law "does not permit a State to pass a law deeming a provider unqualified for reasons unrelated to professional competence to perform the services at issue."
地区法官玛丽·盖格·刘易斯(Mary Geiger Lewis)最终阻止了麦克马斯特的命令生效，她写道，南大西洋计划生育组织“在专业上胜任，有能力为医疗补助患者提供计划生育服务”，联邦法律“不允许一个州通过一项法律，认为提供者因与执行有争议的服务的专业能力无关的原因而不合格”。
After an appeals court upheld the block in 2019, the state appealed the case to the Supreme Court early this year.
Helene Krasnoff, vice president of public policy litigation and law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheered the organization's victory on Tuesday but warned of potential decisions in the opposite direction should Barrett be confirmed.
美国计划生育联合会(Planned Parenthood Federation Of America)负责公共政策诉讼和法律的副总裁海琳·克拉斯诺夫(Helene Krasnoff)周二为该组织的胜利欢呼，但警告称，如果巴雷特得到确认，可能会做出相反方向的决定。
"Today's Supreme Court order leaves in place a ruling that makes clear what we have long said: blocking people with low incomes from choosing the provider they know and trust is unlawful," Krasnoff said. "The fact that the court will not hear this case does not alter the frightening reality of what could come if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the high court."
Krasnoff说：“今天的最高法院命令保留了一项裁决，该裁决明确了我们长期以来一直说的话：阻止低收入者选择他们认识和信任的提供者是非法的。”“法院不会审理此案的事实，并不能改变如果法官艾米·科尼·巴雷特(Amy Coney Barrett)被确认进入高等法院，可能会发生什么的可怕现实。”
Jeff Leieritz, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said McMaster's administration was "disappointed" by the high court's decision to not take up the case.
Tuesday's order comes on the heels of another abortion order from the court. On Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to reinstate restrictions for the time being on patients seeking to obtain a drug used for abortions early in pregnancy, marking a temporary victory for abortion rights supporters.