America’s abortion behemoth, Planned Parenthood, beleaguered by an uncover video investigation of its baby body-parts profits and beset by congressional investigations, is fighting another battle in court, over allegations it defrauded taxpayers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday heard arguments asking for the reinstatement of a whistleblower case against Planned Parenthood brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Jonathan Bloedow.
Bloedow is a Washington state taxpayer who claims Planned Parenthood repeatedly submitted “false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursement” to the state’s Department of Social and Health Services.
“The taxpayer dollars of Americans should be used responsibly and for the common good, not funneled to groups like Planned Parenthood that abuse the public’s trust,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden.
“Planned Parenthood’s bottom line doesn’t trump compliance with the law. We are asking the court to hold them accountable,” he said.
Aden told WND the hearing Tuesday morning went well for Bloedow, and it is hoped that the court will reinstate his claim. Bloedow found that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed at least 25,000 false claims for reimbursement in excess of the amount allowed for oral contraceptive pills and at least another 25,000 in excess of the allowed amount for “emergency contraceptive” pills under the federal government’s 340B drug reimbursement program.
Damages could be the tens of millions of dollars.
It’s the federal False Claims Act that allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors.
The case was filed in 2011, but a federal judge earlier dismissed the case on technical grounds, claiming there was another lawsuit against an entirely different Planned Parenthood affiliate in California, which barred Bloedow’s claims.
Aden told WND it was a separate whistleblower involved in a separate corporate entity, meaning the dismissal was improper. So ADF appealed the dismissal of Bloedow’s claims to the 9th Circuit.
WND reported in 2014 about a separate case handled by ADF in which an appeals court revived a lawsuit was brought by Sue Thayer, former manager of Iowa’s Storm Lake and LeMars Planned Parenthood clinics. Thayer sued the organization there under both federal and Iowa False Claims Acts. She alleges Planned Parenthood knowingly committed Medicaid fraud from 2002 to 2009 by seeking improper and even illegal reimbursements from Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the Iowa Family Planning Network.
A district judge in 2012 dismissed Thayer’s complaint at Planned Parenthood’s request, but the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals returned it to district court.
“We conclude that Thayer has pled sufficiently particularized facts to support her allegations that Planned Parenthood violated the FCA by filing claims for (1) unnecessary quantities of birth control pills, (2) birth control pills dispensed without examinations or without or prior to a physician’s order, (3) abortion-related services, and (4) the full amount of services that had already been paid, in whole or in part, by ‘donations’ Planned Parenthood coerced from patients,” the appeals court ruling said then.
“Thayer adequately alleges the particular details of these schemes, such as the names of the individuals that instructed her to carry out these schemes, the two-year time period in which these schemes took place, the clinics that participated in these schemes, and the methods by which these schemes were perpetrated. Moreover, she alleges that her position as center manager gave her access to Planned Parenthood’s centralized billing system, pleads specific details about Planned Parenthood’s billing systems and practices, and alleges that she had personal knowledge of Planned Parenthood’s submission of false claims.
“Thayer’s claims thus have sufficient indicia of reliability because she provided the underlying factual bases for her allegations,” the ruling said.
In that case, the allegations included one that Planned Parenthood routinely sent a year’s worth of birth control pills to women without a physician’s order and often without the woman’s knowledge.
It then billed Medicaid $26.32 for each month’s worth of pills, even though the cost was only $2.98.
The Bloedow case had been dismissed because of a similar California case, but ADF explained that was a different whistleblower, different state laws and regulations, and a different corporate entity.
That case claimed Planned Parenthood netted an illicit $28 million from its scam on taxpayers.
Just last year, WND reported the Houston-based Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast settled with the U.S. Justice Department over similar allegations.
The organization paid $4.3 million to resolve civil allegations under the False Claims Act, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Most recently, Planned Parenthood was accused in a letter from a congressional investigating committee of violating federal privacy laws in its baby body parts trade.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the head of the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel regarding Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade and profit, asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for an investigation into the transactions that appear to have violated federal privacy law.
“The panel’s investigation has uncovered information indicating that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (‘PPMM’), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (‘PPSP’), and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group (‘FPS’) (hereinafter ‘the abortion clinics’) committed systematic violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (‘HIPAA’) privacy rule from about 2010 to 2015,” she wrote.
“These violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilate the “TPB’s efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.”
That investigation, and others, including those at the state level that have resulted in multiple states defunding the abortionists, followed a series of undercover videos released throughout 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress. It set up a face procurement company and sent investigators undercover into Planned Parenthood and other locations to get testimony about the baby body parts trade.
In the first undercover video released by CMP, Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on crushing babies.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she said.
See the first video:
In the second video, Planned Parenthood’s Mary Gatter said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
See her comments:
In the fifth, Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood’s Houston clinic discusses “intact fetal cadavers”:
The seventh video has the testimony of a Planned Parenthood worker who tapped an aborted infant’s heart and saw it start beating.
And No. 8 has Cate Dyer, CEO of Stem Express, admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.