Federal Judge Blocks Texas Rule Excluding Planned Parenthood
by: Carrie Feibel, April 30, 2012 10:04:00 pm
The program has nothing to do with abortion, but rather draws down federal funds to help poor women get pelvic and breast exams, and birth control.
Texas said the clinics weren’t eligible because their affiliate clinics provide abortion.
But a judge said Texas has to keep sharing the money with Planned Parenthood, at least for now.
Melaney Linton is president of the Gulf Coast chapter of Planned Parenthood:
“We’re very excited that the judge ruled in our favor, we’re very excited that the judge agreed with us that politics has no place in women’s health and that the program needs to continue in its current form.”
The preliminary injunction means Planned Parenthood will keep getting some money until the entire lawsuit is heard in federal court.
But the bigger picture remains uncertain.
The feds are getting ready to withdraw the federal funds because it says Texas can’t shut out Planned Parenthood.
Governor Perry has said he’d like to continue the program at the state level, but hasn’t identified how to pay for it.
And the state health commissioner has said that if he’s forced to include Planned Parenthood, he may have to shut down the entire program for everyone.
Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood said that would be short-sighted:
“And we are really hoping, we’ve got our fingers crossed, that the state will put Texas women and their health first and put aside any vendetta that they have against PP and really continue this life saving program for the women of Texas.”
Officials with the Texas Attorney General’s Office have now said they’ll immediately appeal the ruling.
From the KUHF Health and Science Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.