Culture

Texas Is Officially Cutting Planned Parenthood Out Of The Medicaid Program

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In June, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ abortion-restricting HB2 law, which worked an undue burden upon women (and especially upon minority communities) by shutting down clinics. Now, the state has had its revenge by officially serving Medicaid walking papers to Planned Parenthood.

This wasn’t an overnight decision in the state’s campaign against abortion, which has dragged on for decades but reached a fever pitch this year. In November, Gov. Greg Abbott approved a proposal that required remains of aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried (with an odd restriction of omitting abortions that are performed at home). Now, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has decided that Planned Parenthood will lose millions in annual funding. Here are the details from the Texas Tribune:

In a move that could affect thousands of low-income women, state health officials on Tuesday delivered a final legal notice to defund the organization from the Medicaid program through which it provides family planning and women’s health services to the poor. Planned Parenthood had previously received $3.1 million in Medicaid funding, but those dollars will be nixed in 30 days, according to the notice which was obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Not only will abortion services be crippled by this move, but Planned Parenthood provides so many other services — HIV and cancer screenings, low-cost birth control, and family planning among them — to low-income women and families. In effect, Texas could see their rate of unplanned pregnancies and STDs increase if the organizations shutters.

Texas’ decision was initially motivated by controversial videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, which claimed to show Planned Parenthood employees arranging to sell fetal tissue. The organization has maintained that the videos in question were deceptively edited.

All is not lost. Planned Parenthood is currently digging into litigation options, which could be more effective than requesting an administrative hearing. The New York Times adds word from the organization, which vows to still offer services while pursuing an injunction. They won’t be able to do so forever, but private donations have a tendency to skyrocket during times of opposition.

Stay tuned, y’all.

(Via New York Times & Texas Tribune)

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