Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas from Eliminating Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid Funding

Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol on July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC.
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On the day Texas was set to end Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funds, the abortion vendor filed an emergency lawsuit with a district court that granted a temporary restraining order against the state.

State District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in Travis County set a hearing date for February 17, reported the Texas Tribune.

Breitbart News noted that, as of February 3, Texas would no longer allow Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer funds through Medicaid reimbursements.

The state gave Planned Parenthood until that date to refer its clients to other facilities after the abortion provider asked for a delay, citing the pandemic.

Following a five-year battle waged by Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas to block the state from eliminating its Medicaid funding, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned a lower district court’s decision and ruled in favor of the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cited undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue activities in his statement about the ruling, asserting Planned Parenthood is not “qualified” to receive taxpayer funds.

Planned Parenthood based its lawsuit on the claim that a patient should be able to choose who is a Medicaid provider, but Chief Judge Priscilla Owen, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in her opinion that individual patients are not involved in the decision of which providers are qualified to receive taxpayer funds.

“The Medicaid Act leaves it up to a State to determine if a particular provider’s Medicaid agreement should be terminated because the provider is not ‘qualified’ or terminated on other grounds,” Owen wrote.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes said in a statement that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) “is more interested in scoring political points by touting his continued attacks on abortion access than dealing with the public health crisis at-hand.”

Dyana Limon-Mercado, executive director of the organization, said in a statement that Abbott is using “the style of Trump politics … that ignores the real health care needs of Texans and prioritizes scoring political points with his base, much like when he temporarily banned abortion at the start of the pandemic.”

Matt Perdie

In March 2020, Planned Parenthood joined other abortion providers in suing Abbott over his ban on elective abortions during the pandemic in order to preserve scarce medical supplies for healthcare personnel who were treating victims of the coronavirus.

Planned Parenthood, which profits from abortions, claimed terminating pregnancy is an “essential” medical service.

However, Dr. Christina Francis, the chair of the board of the American Association of Prolife OB/GYNs (AAPLOG) said moving forward with abortions during the pandemic was “medically irresponsible,” at a time when medical equipment is much needed to treat those who are sick.

“Abortions use up much-needed resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment,” Francis told LifeSiteNews at the time.

While Planned Parenthood claims many Medicaid recipients depend on its services, pro-life activists assert there are many other healthcare facilities that provide even higher quality health care without the entanglement of also providing abortions.

Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, said while the abortion industry has spread the narrative that low-income women are dependent on Planned Parenthood for services, the reality is there are “hundreds of providers throughout the state of Texas willing to serve poor women with authentic healthcare services that are not also peddling abortion.”

“The Texas Pregnancy Care Network has a list of such providers throughout the state and if these providers do not accept Medicaid, they can make referrals to life-affirming Medicaid providers who can offer genuine healthcare to women in need,” Allmon said.

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