Judge Rules Texas Can Move Ahead With Measure Defunding Planned Parenthood

By:  Dave Bohon
Judge Rules Texas Can Move Ahead With Measure Defunding Planned Parenthood

A state judge has ruled that Texas can move ahead with defunding Planned Parenthood as the abortion giant's lawsuit against the state moves ahead.

Abortion giant Planned Parenthood has lost another chapter in its ongoing fight to force states to fund its existence against their will. A Texas judge ruled December 31 that the state can go ahead with its defunding of the nation's largest abortion provider, denying a temporary injunction that would have continued to provide funding to Planned Parenthood for non-abortion-related service.

This is the second time a judge has ruled against such an injunction. In August, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an injunction imposed by a federal judge that would have allowed the state funding to continue pending the results of a lawsuit Planned Parenthood had filed to challenge the law. The defunding measure, passed by the state legislature in 2011 and implemented on January 1, blocks Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving funds for “family planning” services dispersed through the state's Women's Health Program.

In response to the state measure, the Obama administration ordered the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cut off funding of the Women's Health Program — around $9 for every $1 in state funds, effective January 1. Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded by saying that the state would tighten its belt and do without the estimated $30 million in federal funding the Women's Health Program was receiving.

According to the Dallas Morning News, critics of the defunding measure “believe the state program will not have enough providers without the Planned Parenthood clinics to serve the 130,000 low-income women who rely on the Women’s Health Program for annual checkups, cancer screenings and family planning.” But the state Health and Human Services Commission said that it had more than 3,500 non-abortion-related health providers that could handle the 50,000 or so low-income women who previously relied on Planned Parenthood for “family planning” services.

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