Texas officially defunds Planned Parenthood

Dec 22, 2016, 00:10
Texas officially defunds Planned Parenthood

According to Texas Tribune, Texas health officials notified Planned Parenthood earlier this week that it will be stripped of $3.1 million in Medicare funding within the next 30 days, a schedule that can only be delayed if the organization appeals the decision within the next 15 days.

The battle over the funding Planned Parenthood received for those health services - which are separate from its abortion services that receive no public funds - began in October 2015 when Gov.

Planned Parenthood now has 30 days to take action or be removed from Texas' Medicaid program, which serves the poor and disabled.

State officials have made good on a promise made more than a year ago to oust Planned Parenthood after they said undercover videos of fetal tissue practices showed that the organization was unsafe and professionally incompetent.

Planned Parenthood responded by vowing to ask a court to stop Texas from defunding clinics in January.

But more than a year went by without a final notice. "These practices violate accepted medical standards. and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination", according to the letter from Inspector General Stuart Bowen, Jr. Instead, it could put these women at risk for health complications and death as they desperately try to end pregnancies by themselves rather than seeking the help of clinics like Planned Parenthood.

Texas' final notice to Planned Parenthood comes at a time when the 100-year-old organization is simultaneously fighting to stop Congress from also cutting off taxpayer dollars.

Paxton first announced his agency's investigation of Planned Parenthood in July 2015, but his office has yet to seek charges.

The newspaper reported that Bowen's letter referenced undercover videos recorded in Houston by anti-abortion activists who claimed they showed a Planned Parenthood executive improperly offering to sell fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes did not immediately return TheBlaze's request for comment. If state health officials are successful, the move could promptly cut off some 13,500 low-income women in Texas from basic healthcare services they now receive from Planned Parenthood, like birth control and cancer screenings.

Bowen wrote that the videos revealed Planned Parenthood's history of "deviating from accepted standards" to procure tissue samples for researchers and a "willingness to charge more than the costs incurred for procuring fetal tissue", along with other violations. At the time, it was thought that Planned Parenthood affiliates would be cut from the Medicaid program as early as December 8, 2015. New legislation was passed that restricted any clinic from performing abortions if they didn't have expensive surgical center-level facilities, something most clinics within the state were lacking. Because Texas conservatives decided even so-called "affiliates" of abortion providers couldn't serve women under the program. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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