A former Planned Parenthood clinic director has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against her former employer, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas (now known as Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast), charging that between 2007 and 2009 the abortion provider filed fraudulent Medicaid claims totaling nearly $6 million.
Abby Johnson, now an outspoken pro-life advocate, filed the federal lawsuit through Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), accusing Planned Parenthood of submitting more than 87,000 “false, fraudulent, or ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements” under Title XIX, in association with the Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP). The lawsuit alleges that the abortion provider knowingly committed Medicaid fraud by “improperly seeking reimbursements” from the WHP “for products and services not reimbursable by that program.” According to the suit, some 40 percent of the claims submitted by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to the Texas WHP were “false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible for reimbursement,” for which the abortion provider received reimbursements totaling more than $5.7 million.
ADF attorneys filed the suit under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, which allows individuals with inside information to expose fraud by contractors that receive government monies. While the suit was filed in 2010, federal law mandated that documents pertaining to the case remain sealed while federal and state governments decided whether or not to join the case.
In 2011, Texas effectively banned Planned Parenthood from participating in the Texas WHP under a state law mandating that the state’s Medicaid agency cannot contract with “affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions.” That law prompted the Obama administration to retaliate by stripping the WHP of its federal funding.