Arizona Loses Fight for Anti-Planned Parenthood Law in U.S. Ninth Circuit Court

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A court-ordered halt to an Arizona law that bans the state from contracting with organizations that provide abortions has been upheld by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court.

In a 32-page ruling, the appeals court makes ground beef of arguments by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Tom Betlach, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System director, that the law doesn't run afoul of Medicaid's freedom-of-choice requirement.

See also:
-Trent Franks' Abortion Bill Passes House, Which Doesn't Really Matter

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the state over the law, emerge victorious. That is, until the state decides to take this to the U.S. Supreme Court, which the conservative Center for Arizona Policy wants them to do.

Arizona U.S. District Judge Neil Wake had ordered a permanent injunction of the law, passed last year by right-wing state lawmakers, before it could take effect. The state appealed. But its reasoning is flawed deeply, the Ninth panel's opinion asserts.

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Tom Horne, Arizona Attorney General

The law on Medicaid stipulates that "any individual eligible for medical assistance . . . may obtain such assistance from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required . . . "

If you think that means what it is, then you agree with the unanimous opinion of the three-member panel of Marsha S. Berzon, Jay S. Bybee, circuit judges, and Consuelo B. Marshall, senior district judge.

Horne and Betlach says the clause is too vague. The appellate panel says their reasoning turns the Medicaid provision on its head:

"Arizona's argument hinges on construing the statutory term "qualified" not according to its ordinary meaning, but instead as a Medicaid-specific term of art conferring upon the states plenary authority to withhold Medicaid funds on any policy grounds they prefer to pursue. Under Arizona's reading, states can determine for any reason that a provider is not qualified for Medicaid purposes, even if the provider is otherwise legally qualified, through training and licensure, to provide the requisite medical services within the state."
The state had other, even weaker arguments that the panel picked apart. But don't worry, they'll likely resurrect all those points for another expensive appeal.

Click here to read the entire ruling.


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22 comments
ozgur.aksoy
ozgur.aksoy

The state appealed. But its reasoning is flawed deeply, the Ninth panel's opinion asserts. Hisse

Kylie
Kylie

Oh, wow! What a timely article, I just got home after having an abortion this afternoon. It was my 11th one and it was great, everything went really smoothly. I didn't have to wait long at all, I'm a regular so they already had my medical information and after a quick sign-in the doctor sticks his head out from a room down the hall and yells out "hey, open stirrups, no waiting!" LOL! He's done so many procedures for me that we're like old friends or something. What a prankster. Oh yeah, we all call abortions "procedures" now, all meaning me and the staff and everybody else. It changed somewhere around my 4th or 5th abortion, the next time I went in it was all about the "procedure," and I was corrected when I referred to my impending abortion. I don't know why the name change happened within the setting of the clinic, maybe it was just to get away from all the ignorant stigma placed on the "a" word.

They weren't always as easy as lucky number 11, my first two procedures required this ring thing to be inserted the day before to dilate me. I didn't even know what dilate me meant at that age, but I later came to find out it meant that I was really tight and I remember being stoked because I knew that guys like a snug fit and another line on my resume never hurts, lol. So anyway, for my first 2 procedures I had to waste most of two days in a row to get it over with and out. I was so miffed, we were going to go to the mall the day before my appointment and then out clubbing that night as sort of a "going away" party, and I didn't find out about the two day commitment thing until the day before we were supposed to have the party and everything was ruined and had to be canceled. WTF?!? I had this giant plastic ring thing in me and I wasn't going to be able to hook up with anybody anyway, so the night would have been a total waste of time. I guess I could have done some Asian guy a favor and he probably wouldn't have even felt it, but that's just weird.

I swear, you guys have never had to pay for any of my procedures. Well, I mean the taxpayers. The guys who caused the problems directly did pay for the procedures 9 out of 11 times, I hear that's a pretty good average. I've always been lucky, what can I say? Hopefully, the next time I have a procedure done, kismet will strike again and the New Times will have a fun companion article to go with it!

marcy
marcy

The last time Tom Horne had an intelligent thought it turned out it was just gas from eating some moldy chenal.

rickaz59
rickaz59

A white female judge appointed by Clinton, a black female judge appointed by Carter, and a Mormon male judge appointed by Bush.  Isn't it a great country?

areddropinthebucket
areddropinthebucket

I love abortions! I think all pro-choice liberals should abort at least one of their children. each abortion is one less leech sucking on MY natural resources. ladies, get those vacuum hoses running and suck 'em if you got 'em! exercise those rights!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Another blow for the Arizona Taliban. I bet the Ayatollah Cathi Herrod is farting flames over this ruling.


marcy
marcy

@areddropinthebucket 

You don't abort children honey.

But I do think every woman you prohibit from getting an abortion should drop their child off at your house for you to raise.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@areddropinthebucket ps wheres this freedom that the right always talks about? sure seems like they are trying damn hard to force their morality and religion onto everyone, thinking its their right to tell us how to live...lol but anytime guns are brought up, oh we cant even have the talk.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@areddropinthebucket lol as opposed to what, gun rights? pretty sure guns cause deaths as well. So whats the difference? Both abortion and guns cause death by the choices humans make FYI, so dont try that "guns dont kill people" crap, cause the bullet doesnt come out of the persons mouth..

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@areddropinthebucket  

What about pro-choice conservatives?   You know, those of us who think the government should mind its own business and keep religion out of the laws.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@david_saint01

"The Right" isn't one big group of people who all think alike.

Some of believe in individual freedom, including the right to choose abortion and the right to keep and bear arms, the right to make your own decisions about health care, etc.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@david_saint01

You're saying that it's the gun that kills, but then you admit that it's actually the bullet.   If you can blame the gun for what the bullet does, why isn't it equally valid to blame the person who actually made the decision to pull the trigger?   Some might even say that the element that makes the decision is where the blame logically must lie.

slurpee
slurpee

@valleynative @areddropinthebucket oh man, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to slight you guys, it's just that your numbers within the population are so small that I didn't feel that you warranted a mention. that was thoughtless of me and again, I apologize. by all means, do your next child in early! the hose doesn't know or care how you vote, it just rids me of a parasite. have at it one and all.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative  You know, your exchange with the troll reminds me of that quote from George Bernard Shaw:  "Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Though I also know its hard to resist......

equalabortionsforall
equalabortionsforall

@valleynative @slurpee no, neither I nor the hose care about your thought processes. I just apologized for leaving you pro-choice conservatives out and only referencing liberals. please go forth and terminate your children, regardless of your political ideas. fully utilize the services provided by our abortion clinics, that's what they are there for and it's your right. if you want to take a pill or wrap that jimmy and prevent your spawn from ever happening, please do that. I'm looking forward to drinking their (my) water and eating their (my) food.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@slurpee

Yes actually, you did.  You said that the children of people who think like I do are parasites.  That would mean that I'm a parasite, too.  See how that works?

slurpee
slurpee

@valleynative @slurpee unless you're a fetus ripe for the suction tube, nobody wrote that you are a parasite. at least nobody here and today did.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@slurpee

No, you don't seem to get it.  What makes me a parasite?

Are you unclear about the meaning of the word?

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