The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issued an order on Monday banning Planned Parenthood from participating in Medicaid programs.
The move by the Office of Inspector General at HHSC comes after the revelation of the gruesome videos filmed at various Planned Parenthood facilities, including the Gulf Coast office in Texas.
In conjunction with the HHSC letter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative program designed to provide even greater protections for children in the womb. The initiative also aims at preventing the sale of baby body parts, according to a statement from the governor’s office obtained by Breitbart Texas. Part of Abbott’s initiative calls for new legislation to be enacted by the next session of the Texas legislature.
The letter from the HHSC Inspector General ends Medicaid participation for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas and is based on alleged Medicaid violations. The letter also calls for the end to funding by state and local taxpayers of other abortion providers as well.
“Texas has stepped forward and shown its unyielding commitment to both protecting life and providing women’s health services,” said Governor Abbott in his written statement. “The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end. As such, ending the Medicaid participation of Planned Parenthood affiliates in the State of Texas is another step in providing greater access to safe healthcare for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”
The letter from the HHSC Inspector General reveals the following:
- That Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.
- The termination of all Planned Parenthood affiliates will not affect access to care because there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas including federally qualified heath centers, Medicaid-certified rural health clinics, and other health care providers across the state that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program and Medicaid.
- The State of Texas requests cooperation in informing all clients and potential clients of alternatives where they can obtain Medicaid services from providers in good standing with the State.
Abbott’s LIFE Initiative calls for the following:
Laws must be changed to (1) make it a felony under Texas law to perform a partial-birth abortion; and (2) make it illegal for abortion doctors to risk a woman’s health by altering the procedure to preserve fetal body parts.
Improve and expand the availability of adoption services; and increase awareness about Texas’ already best-in-the-nation child-support enforcement program, so that young mothers considering how to deal with pregnancy know the father will be held accountable to support his family.
Funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers out of taxpayer money must be eliminated completely, both at the State and local levels.
Eliminate and criminalize any sale or transaction of fetal tissue by an abortion clinic for any purpose whatsoever.
The governor also announced there are several ongoing investigations moving forward at a fast pace. He said these investigations could reveal new information that might require other enhancements to the LIFE program.
Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the actions being taken by the state of Texas in the wake of the Planned Parenthood video tapes. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced in a July State Senate committee hearing that his office is pursuing investigations into the business practices of Planned Parenthood, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick.
General Paxton released a statement on Monday afternoon, congratulating Governor Abbott for this move.
I applaud Gov. Greg Abbott and HHSC for taking this important step to ensure taxpayer dollars do not go toward funding Planned Parenthood. Clear indications of their adjustment of abortion procedures to procure baby body parts are more than troubling. Such behavior raises serious concerns about the ability of Planned Parenthood to comply with the minimum standards of care that are expected to protect the health and safety of Texas women.
On Monday, Breitbart News’ Dr. Susan Berry reported that Senator Ted Cruz, a 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, called on other states to follow Texas’ lead in defunding Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding.
Today, my home state of Texas proved that states can make a real difference in the fight to block taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. I’m proud of Texas for leading the way in affirming the sanctity of life, and I thank Gov. Abbott for his principled commitment to protecting the lives of unborn children. I encourage every state to follow Texas’ lead in stopping taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood, and I will continue to lead the fight in the United States Senate to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level.
For every one Planned Parenthood in Texas, there are 19 community health care provider. Today’s decision means that women will have access to healthcare that’s no longer burdened with the moral and ethical issues of Planned Parenthood, an organization under criminal investigation.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick also weighed in on the actions taken by the HHSC Inspector General:
Today’s action is a positive step towards improving women’s health and protecting life. This barbaric practice of aborting a baby and taking that baby apart and selling its parts is unacceptable. We must take every step to ensure no tax money is used to support this practice.
The Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee investigation is continuing. I look forward to receiving their recommendation on how to strengthen state laws to prevent this appalling practice in the future.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.