A state judge ruled on Monday that Texas should be allowed to cut off funding to the state’s Planned Parenthood programs.
The Associated Press reported that, per the ruling of visiting Judge Gary Harger, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas will be excluded from the state’s version of the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which is set to launch Tuesday.
“It is shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women,” said the organization’s president and CEO, Ken S. Lambrecht. “Regardless of what happens in the courts, Planned Parenthood will be here for our patients. 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.”
Planned Parenthood had brought three lawsuits saying the state’s “affiliate law” disqualified medical providers who otherwise served within the confines of state law.
Harger also rejected a request by Planned Parenthood for a temporary restraining order delaying enforcement of the ban. The group is scheduled to file an injunction on Jan. 11 asking for state funding.
The move is part of the state’s longtime ban on using state funds for abortion procedures; Planned Parenthood does offer them at some clinics, but uses other methods to fund them. The organization treated about 48,000 women as part of the existing version of the Women’s Health Program, which serves 110,000 women overall.
Lauren Bean, a spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office, called Planned Parenthood’s appeal an attempt to skirt state law.
“The Texas Attorney General’s office will continue to defend the Texas Legislature’s decision to prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving taxpayer dollars through the Women’s Health Program,” Bean said.