Texas Officially Defunds Planned Parenthood

Texas defunds Planned Parenthood with final notice.

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Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding was cut off in Texas on Tuesday, reported the Texas Tribune. The final notice from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission was issued over a year after the state first initiated plans to defund Planned Parenthood. The move is set to affect 11,000 low-income women who get health care services such as cancer screenings, H.I.V. tests, birth control, and abortion services.

The state’s decision would take effect in 30 days, pulling $3.1 million in annual funding, if Planned Parenthood didn’t do anything. However, the organization said it would  “seek an injunction” in court within the lawsuitit filed against the state in November 2015. The lawsuit was filed after Texas officials released a notice of intent to defund the organization, giving it 30 days to respond.

Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen said Planned Parenthood “violated state and federal law” in Tuesday’s final notice, referring to undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the use of aborted fetal tissue for research and profiting off it. Planned Parenthood has denied the accusations and multiple investigations, including one in Texas, have found them to be baseless.

“Your misconduct is directly related to whether you are qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner,” Bowen wrote in the letter. “Your actions violate generally accepted medical standards, as reflected in state and federal law, and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination.”

The New York Timesreported that the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement Tuesday: “Texans expect that when taxpayer dollars are granted to health care providers, it is only to those who demonstrate that the health and safety of their patients come before a profit motive that puts women at greater risk.”

President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards said if other states follow Texas, it will lead to a “national health care disaster.”

“Texas is a cautionary tale for the rest of the nation,” said Richards. “If the nation goes the way of Texas, it will be nothing less than a national health care disaster.”

President-elect Trump, despite acknowledging how Planned Parenthood has helped millions of women, has vowed to defund the organization for its abortion practices.

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