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Miss. Can’t Cut Planned |Parenthood Funding

JACKSON, Miss (CN) — A federal judge on Thursday overturned a state law that cut off Medicaid funding to area Planned Parenthoods in yet another blow to those seeking abortion restrictions.

Planned Parenthood Southeast led the legal challenge to the 2016 law, Senate Bill 2238, which disqualified any health-care provider that offers abortions from receiving Mississippi's Medicaid funds.

In a brief two-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III ruled that "essentially every court to consider similar laws" has found that they violate the so-called Free-Choice-of-Provider Provision.

He cited a September 14 ruling from the Fifth Circuit that upheld a lower court's injunction blocking a similar effort to defund Planned Parenthood facilities in Louisiana. The judge was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush.

"Yet another court has said it is unacceptable for politicians to dictate where women can go for their health care," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a written statement.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed the law in May, expressed disappointment in the ruling but said he believes the law "was the right thing to do."

"I will continue to stand with the Legislature and the people of Mississippi who do not want their hard-earned money going to the largest abortion provider in the nation," Bryant said in a statement posted to his Facebook account.

The lawsuit filed in June said the Mississippi law was unconstitutional because it would have left patients no options for obtaining medical care "without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

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