WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear appeals from two states that were sued to prevent them from cutting Planned Parenthood from their budgets.
Louisiana and Kansas were wanting to cut their payments through Medicaid, Reuters reported. Even recent SCOTUS appointee Brett Kavanaugh voted to refuse the appeal.
The justices left intact lower court rulings that prevented the two states from stripping government healthcare funding from local Planned Parenthood affiliates. The case was one of a number of disputes working their way up to the Supreme Court over the legality of state-imposed restrictions involving abortion.
Three conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented from the decision by the nine-member conservative-majority court, saying it should have heard the appeals by the states.
At least four justices must vote to grant review for the court to hear an appeal. Along with the four liberal justices, Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts – the court’s two other conservative justices – opposed taking up the matter.
Planned Parenthood’s affiliates in Louisiana do not perform abortions, but some in Kansas do. Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income Americans, pays for abortions only in limited circumstances, such as when a woman’s life is in danger.