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Court blocks law banning Planned Parenthood funding

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 11, 2013

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A federal judge has blocked an Arizona law stopping state funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.

On Feb. 8, U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake ruled that the measure, which targeted Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortion services, illegally prevented Medicaid beneficiaries from choosing health care services. Federal statute provides Medicaid patients the freedom to select the qualified health professionals of their choice.

The Arizona law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on May 4, 2012, prohibited the state from contracting with a facility where abortions are performed. Planned Parenthood Arizona sued the state, and Wake temporarily suspended enforcement of the law in August 2012. The state has appealed Wake’s initial preliminary injunction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Other efforts to defund Planned Parenthood have been blocked by federal courts in Kansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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