Texas’s attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood in the lone star state has failed, as a federal court judge ruled the law, passed last year, as unconstitutional. Texas immediately appealed, another step in the controversial topic’s possible journey to the Supreme Court.
The Texas law, passed in 2011, excluded Planned Parenthood from the state’s Women’s Health Program, which currently serves about 130,000 low-income women in the state.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled on Monday that the law was unconstitutional, because it offers a sweeping ban against health care providers who also offer abortions.
As it stands, eight Planned Parenthood clinics are banned from providing healthcare, when they do not even provide abortions. They are banned, even though they are legally and financially separate from the institutions that offer abortions. In his ruling, Judge Yeakel wrote:
“The court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women. The record before the court at this juncture reflects uncertainty as to the continued viability of the Texas Women’s Health Program.”
As a result of the Texas law, HHS cut off Medicaid money for Texas, prompting Governor Rick Perry (R) to promise he would find a way to make up for the $30 million funding gap. He reportedly promised to pay for the Women’s Health Program with the state’s own money.
Even conservative officials in Texas suggested that they would prefer ending the program completely instead of allowing Planned Parenthood to participate. On Monday, Planned Parenthood released a statement begging Perry to keep the program, despite the court’s ruling. They asked this, because the program offers cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, and other health exams to low-income women across the state who would not otherwise see a doctor.
Patricio Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County, stated:
“We call on Governor Perry and the state to put Texan women first and set aside any vendetta they may have against Planned Parenthood. No woman should ever have to fear being cut off from her doctor’s care because of shortsighted political games.”
Check out more information about the law here: