Planned Parenthood has 15 days to appeal a decision by Texas state officials to cut the organization from receiving all Medicaid funding.
In its final legal notice delivered Tuesday – more than a year after the program received an initial letter of intent – state health officials cited controversial undercover videos of Planned Parenthood personnel discussing research on fetal tissue as the main reason. The notice said the videos “violated state and federal law.”
The funding – 90 percent of which is federal money – would go to Planned Parenthood’s health centers around the state, not to abortion clinics.
The organization receives about $3 million per year to help more than 10,000 low-income women across the state.
Alexa Ura, reporter for the Texas Tribune, says the organization receives about $3 million per year to help more than 10,000 low-income women across the state.
“Under federal taxpayer money cannot go to clinics that perform the procedure, and so the way Planned Parenthood is set up is that it has health clinics that provide cancer screenings, birth control, HIV tests – and then separately it has abortion clinics.”
Ura says Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood have been going on for a while.
In 2015, Texas did not renew Planned Parenthood’s state HIV prevention program grant, funding that went toward HIV testing and prevention.
Other states have attempted to cut the organization from Medicaid, although their courts blocked the cuts from going into effect.
“This is something that Republicans in Texas have wanted to do for a very long time,” Ura says. “Folks in the anti-abortion advocacy groups that work pretty closely with Republicans will tell you that this is something that’s really been a priority for them. But of course, to remove a provider from Medicaid they need to have some sort of reasoning that disqualifies them. And this time around the state is using some of these videos.”
Planned Parenthood has indicated the will go through the courts to try and stop the cuts.
Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.