Alabama to Restore Planned Parenthood Funding, Patel Testifies in Parker Trial

Oct 29, 2015

Sureshbhai Patel enters the Huntsville Federal Courthouse.
Credit Brynn Anderson / AP

The state of Alabama’s effort to cut off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood facilities was shut down in federal court yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson is ordering the state of Alabama to restore funding to Planned Parenthood. He says the state had no legal reason to cancel the agreement between those facilities and Medicaid providers.

Susan Watson is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama. She says the judge’s ruling should be the end of this funding discussion.

“I hope that the state of Alabama will see that they have to comply with federal law, but if they don’t, we’ll be there.”

Governor Robert Bentley announced he would terminate the Medicaid payments back in August, citing accusations that Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue for profit, something the organization has repeatedly denied.

The Indian man injured in a Madison police encounter took the stand yesterday in the retrial of former officer Eric Parker.

Sureshbhai Patel says he didn't understand instructions that were given to him by Parker, accused of violating Patel's civil rights through the use of excessive force.

The 58-year-old Patel testified through an interpreter that he doesn't speak English and didn't know what officers were telling him when they stopped him in a neighborhood in suburban Huntsville in February.

Jurors watched police video that shows an officer throwing Patel to the ground. Patel suffered a spinal injury and used a walker to enter the courtroom yesterday.

Parker's lawyer claims Patel repeatedly walked away from the officers during the encounter, but Patel denied doing so.

Parker's first trial ended in a mistrial with a hung jury.

Free screenings for certain types of cancer are being held for women in Northern Alabama.

Information Is Power is an event for 30 year old women running through the next year to test for breast and ovarian cancer in Madison County.

Kimberly Strong is the Faculty Investigator and Director of Ethics and Genomics Program at HudsonAlpha. She encourages all women eligible to learn more information and consider attending.

“The goal is really to raise awareness around traditional screening methods. It also is to be a catalyst for discussion within families about their risk, and as well to offer an opportunity to have genetic screening done in a way that would identify those that are at increased risk.”

For more information about the event go to

Alabama leads the region in terms of making sure kids have health insurance, according to a new study from Georgetown University.

That study says as of last year, the percentage of uninsured children in Alabama dropped to 3.8 percent overall, best in the Southeast and 12th highest nationwide.

The national average plunged from 7.1 percent in 2013 to 6 percent last year. The report credits the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion for the increase in children’s health insurance, but Alabama is one of the 24 states that has not yet expanded Medicaid. Here, the drop is more likely attributed to the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, or CHIP, administered in Alabama as ALL Kids through the state Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts had the lowest rate of uninsured children nationwide at 1.5 percent. Alaska had the highest at 11.4.