A Texas judge ruled today that the state can and will cut state funding to Planned Parenthood and any other organization that offers abortions as part of their health care services. This decision was in response to one of three lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood, claiming that the “affiliate rule,” violated their constitutional rights.
Planned Parenthood provides free or low-cost reproductive health care services, including family planning, to over 48,000 Texas women per year.
Texas has had a long standing ban against using state funds to finance abortions, but the state continued to provide funds to Planned Parenthood clinics. The clinics continued to receive funding as part of the state’s Women’s Health Program, which provides general health care to needy women throughout the state.
As reported by NBC News, Judge Gary Harger’s decision today backs the “affiliate rule,” and will exclude any organization or individual doctor from receiving state funding if they perform abortions or advocate for abortion rights. The Judge’s decision was that the ban on funding shall be effective immediately, causing some women to worry about receiving ongoing care from their doctors or health clinics.
Texas attorney general spokeswoman, Lauren Bean, agrees with the court’s decision:
“We are pleased the court rejected Planned Parenthood’s latest 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.”
In November, a Planned Parenthood clinic in West Texas was forced to close its doors due to losses in state funding. The Reporter-News reports that 2,500 women were left to find new doctors.
Planned Parenthood Texas has not given up hope in the fight to maintain, or regain the state funding. Another hearing, in front of another judge will take place on January 11.