The state of Texas has been trying to disqualify and defund Planned Parenthood (PP) from its Medicaid program ever since investigations by David Daleiden and several congressional committees indicated that one of PP’s affiliates in the Lone Star State allegedly violated state and federal laws concerning sales of fetal body parts obtained from abortions.
Last year the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Texas’ favor, paving the way for the state to remove Planned Parenthood from its roll of qualified Medicaid providers. But at the last minute the abortion giant sued Texas in state court, alleging state officials failed to give it the proper notice of termination required under state statutes. At the time, a state court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking Texas from carrying out its termination of PP from the program, but scheduled a hearing in mid-February to hear legal arguments over whether to extend that order.
This week, Travis County Judge Lora Livingston ruled that Planned Parenthood had not proven its case, and refused to further block the state’s efforts to terminate it from the program.
“This decision is not made lightly,” Judge Livingston wrote in her decision. “In the light of the ongoing public health crisis, the risks of the individual losing health care and medical attention requires increased attention and scrutiny.”
Planned Parenthood receives over $3 million annually from the Texas Medicaid program. Although technically Medicaid dollars cannot be used for abortion, pro-lifers point out that money is fungible, and using taxpayer dollars to fund any part of Planned Parenthood’s business frees up other funds to support its abortion activity.
Last November when the 5th Circuit ruled in Texas’ favor, the state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton explained the importance of defunding Planned Parenthood.
“The Fifth Circuit correctly rejected Planned Parenthood’s efforts to prevent Texas from excluding them from the state’s Medicaid program,” Paxton said in a press release. “Undercover video plainly showed Planned Parenthood admitting to morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct, including violations of federal law by manipulating the timing and methods of abortions to obtain fetal tissue for their own research. Planned Parenthood is not a ‘qualified’ provider under the Medicaid Act, and it should not receive public funding through the Medicaid program.”
Planned Parenthood is not the only choice for Medicaid services in Texas, which has almost 600 clinics that “receive federal grants, state subsidies, or are owned and operated by nonprofit organizations and provide services that are either free or at a reduced rate,” according to freeclinics.com.
Photo from Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com