Planned Parenthood could pay up to $1.8 billion if U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk rules in favor of a Texas lawsuit against Planned Parenthood.
The lawsuit under the False Claims Act came in 2022 from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, CBN News reports.
Paxton is currently temporarily suspended from office pending the outcome of his impeachment trial next month over accusations of bribery and abuse of office.
Paxton said it was “unthinkable that Planned Parenthood would continue to take advantage of funding knowing they were not entitled to keep it.”
Planned Parenthood has said the claims in the lawsuit are “meritless.”
“This baseless case is an active effort to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Kacsmaryk has not said when he will hand down a ruling in the case.
Planned Parenthood received money from the state’s Medicaid program before it was removed from the program in 2021.
Texas is trying to recoup the money and seek repayment for services billed at that time.
In addition to the lawsuit, Texas has removed Planned Parenthood from all state health program funding. The organization no longer receives state money for “cancer screenings, contraception, HIV prevention, and sex education,” according to The Texas Tribune.
In Texas, a law known as the Texas heartbeat law prevents places such as Planned Parenthood from providing abortions.
Planned Parenthood supporters say the law has led to many women traveling outside the state for legal abortions and doesn’t protect unborn children in any case.
However, Michael New, a statistician and a scholar with the Lozier Institute, said the law has protected unborn children.
New said Planned Parenthood’s data and claims were “unpersuasive” and added that S.B. 8 (the heartbeat law) “has enjoyed success protecting preborn children in the Lone Star State.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.