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Nate Jackson / Oct. 26, 2015

A Texas Dilemma: Planned Parenthood Subpoenas

State investigators may have gone too far, but who can blame them?

Texas recently became one of a handful of states to challenge the status quo by defunding Planned Parenthood. That’s good, of course, but all may not well with the effort. State investigators have reportedly subpoenaed the Medicaid records of patients who donated baby parts (a.k.a. “fetal tissue”) at Planned Parenthood clinics. These subpoenas were conducted without a warrant, but that’s legal according to Texas law, and selling baby parts is against federal law. Texas’ effort does not, however, seem to jive with the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of the people being secure in “their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Then again, Medicaid can be found nowhere in our Founding documents, so it appears we have a dilemma. On the one hand, we have a grotesque organization founding by a eugenicist harvesting and selling baby parts, all while using taxpayer funds granted through an unconstitutional program. On the other hand, we have investigators seemingly crossing a real privacy line in their efforts to get to the bottom of it. And it’s all because the government is involved in health care.

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