A month ago, President Donald Trump signed a measure that would allow state and local governments to deny federal funds to family planning clinics that also provide abortions. Texas may soon be the first state to test out that measure to defund clinics like Planned Parenthood.
Texas health officials are asking the federal government to approve a Medicaid waiver that would help bolster the state’s family planning program known as Healthy Texas Women – a program that excludes clinics that also provide abortions.
“The waiver is sort of mechanism to have this program to be recognized and draw down federal funds for it,” said Michael Ghasemi, who is with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, during a Women’s Health Advisory Committee meeting Monday.
However, the state program explicitly excludes family planning clinics that also provide abortions – namely, Planned Parenthood – and that exclusion runs afoul of federal law.
If states ask for federal money, they typically have to follow federal laws, which is what Stacey Pogue with the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities pointed out that advisory meeting.