Demonstrators at a Planned Parenthood rally in March 2012.
Texas can cut funding to qualified doctors and clinics that advocate for abortion rights for poor women, a state district judge ruled Monday.
The legal decision paves the way for the Lone Star State to ban funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides health and family planning services to women who could not otherwise afford them.
“It is shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women,” Ken Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said. “Our doors remain open today and always to Texas women in need. We only wish Texas politicians shared this commitment to Texas women, their health and their well-being.”
The Associated Press via The Washington Post:
The state 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 check-ups and birth control 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’s patients could have continued to see their current doctors until a final decision was made.
...Planned Parenthood has brought three lawsuits over Texas’ so-called “affiliate rule,” arguing it violates the constitutional rights of doctors and patients while also contradicting existing state law.