Texas is Officially Defunding Planned Parenthood After a Year of Delays

Texas is giving Planned Parenthood the boot with a notice that it will be removed from the Texas Medicaid program, causing thousands of women to possibly lose access to preventative healthcare services.

According to Mic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised constituents that he would remove Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding after the release of secretly recorded videos in 2015 that were meant to show (extremely misleadingly) that members of Planned Parenthood were selling organs from aborted fetuses. One of the videos focused on a Houston clinic.

 

A grand jury investigation in early 2016 revealed Planned Parenthood had done nothing illegal. Instead, the videographers were indicted for saying they wanted to buy fetal organs.

Back in October of 2015, Texas officials sent a notice of intent to Planned Parenthood saying they would be removed from Medicaid funding and that they had 30 days to respond, after which they would receive an official notice of termination. For some reason, even though Planned Parenthood responded with a lawsuit in November 2015, the termination notice never came.

It’s only now, over a year later, that they are delivering the termination notice—with no reason for the delay. Planned Parenthood has 30 days to file a lawsuit to fight back against this decision.

"Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients and will seek a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients," Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said according to the Texas Tribune

Medicaid provides health coverage to poor and disabled citizens, and cutting Planned Parenthood off from that would mean thousands of low-income women would lose access to all kinds of crucial health care services. The Los Angeles Times reports that since Texas started its fight against Planned Parenthood in 2011, low-income women have had more babies, and fewer women have been using long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants.

Abortion is currently not funded by Medicaid or any other government funding due to the Hyde Amendment, though many people would like to change that.