The lawsuit is finally over!
After more than a year and half of legal proceedings, we are thrilled to say that our lawsuit with Governor Herbert is now over. The case of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) v. Herbert was dismissed by the courts last week at our request.
Our heartfelt thanks go to our attorneys from the firm Magleby Cataxinos & Greenwood, and to you, for supporting us throughout this process and today as we face the continued threat from Congress to cut Planned Parenthood from national Medicaid and Title X funding.
On April 28th, the parties jointly filed a stipulation with the Court requesting the entry of a permanent injunction order. Now that the injunction has been signed by the Court, the terms of the Preliminary Injunction Order, which prohibited the State of Utah from blocking pass-through federal funds to PPAU for unconstitutional reasons, will continue indefinitely.
What this means is that PPAU will continue to receive grant funds through the Utah Department of Health, and the State cannot deny Planned Parenthood grant funding in the future because we provide safe and legal abortion.
This fight began in August 2015 when Governor Herbert announced he would “defund” the organization by cutting off federal funds through grants administered by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). These grants included funds for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and treatment for at-risk populations, two after-school programs for teens, and a public health project designed to improve the UDOH’s system for tracking STI rates in the state. Governor Herbert’s attempt to score political points by attacking PPAU put the Utahns who rely on these programs in jeopardy.
The attack by Governor Herbert came on the heels of the release of since-discredited videos targeting Planned Parenthood in other states. The makers of the videos have faced criminal indictment and civil lawsuits for their activities, while all investigations into Planned Parenthood affiliates in other states have cleared them of the claims made in the video.
We embarked on this lawsuit to send a clear message to Governor Herbert and anti-women’s health lawmakers in the state: We will stand up for the thousands of Utahns who rely on Planned Parenthood’s health services and education. We will not let attempts at political maneuvering stop us from providing affordable and lifesaving health care and education to the women, men, and young people of Utah.
While the local fight might be over, Planned Parenthood is still at risk. The Trump administration and Congress have promised to cut Planned Parenthood from Medicaid and Title X funding. This funding goes towards vital reproductive services such as contraception, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. Due to rules already in place, federal funding only pays for abortion services in very rare exceptions, but extreme politicians insist on punishing our patients, who use Medicaid and Title X for family planning services, because we provide this service.
Planned Parenthood Association of Utah has always been and will continue to be good stewards of public funds, as we provide excellent care and information to those who need us most. We are the leading provider of quality reproductive healthcare services for low-income Utahns. Our doors are open today, and they will be tomorrow—no matter what.