A federal court ruled this week Texas can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood clinics and affiliates, reversing a previous decision mandating the funding until October.
Recently, the Texas state legislature said it would begin enforcing a law passed years before barring all funding from abortion providers and affiliates, including Planned Parenthood.
The organization, which provides medical and health services to at least 52,000 Texas women, sued the state for freedom of speech violations. A judge then ruled funding to Planned Parenthood would continue until a trial on the organization's suit would occur in October.
However, late on Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned the previous temporary injunction. This would allow the state to begin immediately barring funds to the organization, which would stand to lose around $13 million next year.
"We appreciate the court's ruling and will move to enforce state law banning abortion providers and affiliates from the Women's Health Program as quickly as possible," Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said in a statement.
The funds fall under the "Women's Health Program," a federal program aimed at providing health services to poor women. Because of the legislature's barring of Planned Parenthood funding, the Obama administration has now said it will cut all of Texas' funding in the program, which covers around 100,000 women.
However, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who called the ruling "a win for Texas women, our rule of law and our state's priority to protect life," vowed to keep the program in place by making up in the loss of federal funding with state funds.
"Texas will continue providing important health services for women through this program in spite of the Obama Administration's disregard for our state law and unilateral decision to defund this program," Perry said.
The ruling is just another in a series of blows to Planned Parenthood this election season. Other states - including Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina - have enacted similar legislation. Indiana, New Jersey and Wisconsin bar funding to abortion providers through their budget processes.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, recently announced as a speaker for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, said she was appalled by the political game-playing around women's health issues.
The funding "has never been about Planned Parenthood — it's about the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, birth control and well-woman exams," Cecile said in a statement after the Texas ruling.
"It is shocking that politics would get in the way of women receiving access to basic health care."
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com