NEW ORLEANS -- Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is calling it a victory.
In a 7-7 split ruling, the Federal Appeals court in New Orleans decided the health organization will be allowed to keep its Medicaid funding.
That money cannot go towards any abortion services because of the 1977 Hyde Amendment, but will be used to provide wellness visits, cancer screenings and birth control to women across Louisiana and Texas.
Pro-Life Advocates are still opposed.
"Yes, Planned Parenthood says they provide all these wonderful services, but in truth we do not need Planned Parenthood to provide those services," Alexandra Seghers, Programs Co-Director for Louisiana Right to Life said. "We have plenty of services available for women."
On the other side, pro-choice advocates say, especially in the south, there aren't many places for women to receive life-saving health care.
"In Louisiana there is just one Ob-Gyn per 13,000 women of reproductive age," Amy Irvin, Executive Director of the New Orleans Abortion Fund said.
According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, In 28 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes there are no Ob-Gyns. Still, some don't want to see Planned Parenthood clinics at all and especially don't want to see the health care facility get federal funding.
"It's unfortunate that Planned Parenthood, which profits off of women's bodies and vulnerable children, would continue to receive tax dollars," Seghers said.
Pro-choice advocates say it's time to let women make health care decisions for themselves.
"Planned Parenthood is a trusted healthcare provider," Irvin said. "Legislatures should trust Louisianans to make the best choices for themselves and their families as it pertains to healthcare."
Planned Parenthood released the following statement:
We’re happy the court denied the state’s request to prolong this unnecessary attempt to deny Medicaid patients access to their trusted provider. Last year we provided preventive care to just over 9,700 patients. The majority of these patients are able to receive preventive care like wellness visits, cancer screenings, birth control, and screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted infections through Medicaid. The ruling means that all of these women and men can continue getting the care they need from Planned Parenthood, the health care provider they know and trust.
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