On August 6, 2015, Governor Bentley announced that his administration was terminating its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, as reported by AL.com.
As noted in the article, the Medicaid Act has a “free choice of provider” provision requiring state Medicaid plans to allow patients to choose their own medical provider. 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23). This has been held enforceable via § 1983.
Because the termination is not based upon the quality of non-abortion medical care provided by Planned Parenthood in Alabama, we alleged that the termination runs afoul of the Medicaid Act. In addition, we alleged that the Governor’s action also violates the First Amendment as it was made in retaliation for Planned Parenthood Southeast’s provision of abortion care and its association with the national organization, as well as an equal protection claim for its singling out Planned Parenthood.
Oral argument was held on September 22 on our motion for a preliminary injunction. Judge Thompson entered a preliminary injunction on October 28. Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. v. Bentley, 141 F.Supp.3d 1207 (M.D. Ala. 2015). We subsequently resolved the case with an agreed permanent injunction prohibiting termination of the contracts without cause and prohibiting termination on the basis of the Planned Parenthood tapes, along with $51,009.89 in fees, costs and expenses.
The case is closed.