Ernst Joins Senate Effort Supporting State Laws to Defund Planned Parenthood

Two-Dozen Senators Sign Amicus Brief in Support of States Prohibiting Medicaid Funding to Abortion Provider

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) joined Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in submitting an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast v. Gee. A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the case currently prohibits states, including Mississippi, from eliminating taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood through Medicaid.

“States should be able to fund health centers that provide the best and most comprehensive care, without being forced to use taxpayer money for organizations that provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “It is critical the Supreme Court take up this case and ensure rulings from a Court of Appeals do not infringe upon a state’s right to provide quality care to women, while also protecting our most vulnerable: the unborn.”

“Congress gave states broad authority to determine which organizations can participate in their Medicaid programs,” Wicker said. “This ruling undermines congressional intent and state laws to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion. I hope the Supreme Court will take up this case and rule in favor of states’ rights and the unborn.”

Two-dozen U.S. Senators signed the amicus brief led by Wicker including: Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Kennedy, R-La., John Cornyn, R-Tex., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., John Boozman, R-Ark., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Ted Cruz, R-Tex., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tim Scott, R-S.C., James Risch, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

In the amicus brief, the senators challenge the Fifth Circuit’s ruling based on their interpretation of congressional intent in the Medicaid Act and state sovereignty in granting Medicaid provider status. They argue the Supreme Court should hear the case because circuit courts have offered contradictory opinions in similar cases.

For a PDF copy of the amicus brief, click here.