Planned Parenthood Funding
Texas can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood's family planning programs for poor women, a state judge ruled Monday, requiring thousands to find new state-approved doctors for their annual exams, cancer screenings and birth control.
Judge Gary Harger said that Texas may exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding if they advocate for abortion rights.
Texas has long banned the use of state funds for abortion, but had continued to reimburse Planned Parenthood clinics for providing basic health care to poor women through the state's Women's Health Program. The program provides preventive care to 110,000 poor women a year, and Planned Parenthood clinics were treating 48,000 of them.
Planned Parenthood's lawsuit to stop the rule will still go forward, but the judge decided Monday that the ban may go into effect for now. In seeking a temporary restraining order, Planned Parenthood wanted its patients to be able to see their current doctors until a final decision was made...
Ken Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said he brought the lawsuit on behalf of poor women who depend on its clinics...
Planned Parenthood has brought three lawsuits over Texas' so-called "affiliate rule," claiming it violates the constitutional rights of doctors and patients while also contradicting existing state law.
Republican lawmakers who passed the affiliate rule last year have argued that Texas is an anti-abortion state, and therefore should cut off funds to groups that support abortion rights. Gov. Rick Perry, who vehemently opposes abortion, has pledged to do everything legally possible to shut down Planned Parenthood in Texas and welcomed the court's ruling...
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has spent the last nine months preparing to implement the affiliate rule. But federal officials warned it violated the Social Security Act and cut off federal funds for the Women's Health Program, prompting the commission to start a new program using only state money.
State officials have also scrambled to sign up new doctors and clinics to replace Planned Parenthood. Women who previously went to Planned Parenthood clinics will now have to use the agency's web site to find a new state-approved doctor. HHSC officials acknowledged Monday they are unsure whether the new doctors can pick up Planned Parenthood's caseload in all parts of the state.
Any capacity issues will become clear in the next few weeks as women try to make appointments with new clinics and doctors, with problems anticipated in South Texas and other impoverished areas. Texas already suffers from a shortage of primary care physicians willing to take on new patients who rely on state-funded health care.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 12/31/2012
Editor's Note: It should be noted that Planned Parenthood, founded by Progressive Margaret Sanger, started with a mission statement based in eugenics, the belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species by discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits. Not such a "noble" organization when the truth is made clear, eh?!
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