National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Ark. Pursues Hearing on Planned Parenthood Request for Class-Action Status

The state of Arkansas last week asked a federal judge to reject Planned Parenthood's request for class-action status in its lawsuit against the state and asked for a hearing on the issue, AP/THV 11 reports.

Planned Parenthood said it does not believe a hearing on its request for class-action status is necessary (AP/THV 11, 11/6).

Background

In September, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) ordered the state Department of Human Services to end its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood within 30 days. In the last fiscal year, Planned Parenthood clinics in the state received more than $51,000 in Medicaid reimbursements for gynecological services and family planning.

Shortly after, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Hutchinson's decision. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction ordering that Arkansas must continue Medicaid payments for three women who challenged Hutchinson's decision to block the funds. Hutchinson later that day said the state would end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood beyond the three women protected by Baker's order.

Last month, Planned Parenthood asked Baker to grant class-action status to the lawsuit. According to the organization, the lawsuit also should include Medicaid beneficiaries who currently use and who will use Planned Parenthood services (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/7). The organization again requested class-action status last week (AP/THV 11, 11/6).