The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, Mass. on June 27, 2014.
Photo by Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Investigations turn up no Planned Parenthood wrongdoing

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, quite a few states launched their own investigations into whether the health care organization is honoring relevant laws. The Huffington Post reported Friday that the group passed its tests with flying colors: every state that investigated “found area Planned Parenthood affiliates to be in full compliance with state laws and regulations.”
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America stressed Friday that multiple investigations into its state affiliates have fallen flat, as the reproductive health organization battles allegations that it has illegally profited from fetal tissue donations for research.  […]
 
“In every state where these investigations have concluded, officials have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement Friday. “We’ve said all along that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that’s what every one of these investigations has found. This campaign by anti-abortion extremists is nothing less than a fraud, intended to deceive the public with patently false claims in order to pursue an extreme political agenda.”
The list of states includes Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota, with each investigation turning up bupkis. Additional probes are reportedly underway in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, though if recent history is any guide, the organization will likely fare well in these states, too.
 
All of this should matter, of course, especially with Republican presidential candidates accusing Planned Parenthood of unspecified crimes. But will it make a practical difference?
 
Consider the latest developments in Arkansas.
Arkansas is ending its Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday, despite warnings federal officials have given other states that such a move could violate the law.
 
Hutchinson ordered the Arkansas Department of Human Services to terminate its Medicaid provider contract in 30 days.
Remember, there are no allegations of wrongdoing against Arkansas’ Planned Parenthood affiliates. Rather, the state’s Republican governor believes the health care organization represents the wrong “values,” and should therefore lose state funding, regardless of the health consequences.
 
Whether such a move is legal, however, is a separate question.

Disclosure: My wife works at Planned Parenthood, but she played no role in this piece and her work is unrelated to the controversial videos.
 

Arkansas, Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Rights

Investigations turn up no Planned Parenthood wrongdoing