State Judge Rescues Abortion Giant's Efforts Against Texas Defunding Law

By:  Dave Bohon
11/01/2012
       
State Judge Rescues Abortion Giant's Efforts Against Texas Defunding Law

Planned Parenthood has won a temporary victory in its efforts to block a Texas law that would defund abortion providers in the state's women's health program. In August a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the law, which prohibits the state from contracting under the Texas Women's Health Program with organizations that “perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions” 

Planned Parenthood has won a temporary victory in its efforts to block a Texas law that would defund abortion providers in the state's women's health program. In August a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the law, which prohibits the state from contracting under the Texas Women's Health Program with organizations that “perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.” The program provides such services as cancer screening, birth control, and other medical services to low-income women.

In September Planned Parenthood filed a request asking the full 5th Circuit Court to hear the case, arguing that the law, slated for implementation November 1, violated the abortion giant's First-Amendment-guaranteed rights of free speech and association.

While the court refused on October 25 to reconsider the three-judge ruling, a Texas district court judge trumped that decision the next day, issuing a restraining order that put the law's future in judicial limbo.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in issuing the order, Judge Amy Clark Meachum agreed with Planned Parenthood's argument that the law “is invalidated by the Texas Human Resources Code, which makes any provision 'inoperative' if it causes Texas to lose federal funds for the Women’s Health Program....”

Pro-life Texas Governor Rick Perry responded to the latest setback, saying that “if there was ever any doubt that Planned Parenthood is more concerned about its own interests than those of Texas women, there is no longer. Having lost on its constitutional claims, Planned Parenthood has now turned to Travis County judges in a desperate effort to find some way to keep making money off Texas taxpayers. In Texas, we’ve chosen to protect innocent life. We will keep fighting for life, and we will ultimately prevail.”

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Photo: An Amy Clark Meachum campaign advertisement

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