Three Planned Parenthood Branches announced this week that they will merge into one organization to create a more efficient women’s health resource center. Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Austin, and Waco will now become Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. The merger will also help Planned Parenthood in light of budget cuts and anti-abortion legislation.

Ken Lambrecht, current head of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, will become the new CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. He said the merger will help women, saying “by defunding family planning, the governor and Republican lawmakers are not only hurting the women Planned Parenthood serves. They’re hurting women across the state. We hope this will enable us to be a stronger voice for all of those women.”

A group of eight Planned Parenthood organizations filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the state of Texas to prevent the state from excluding them from its Women’s Health Program. In March, Governor Rick Perry implemented a rule that excludes affiliates of abortion providers from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, essentially cutting any government funding to Planned Parenthood. The eight Planned Parenthood organizations who filed the suit do not provide abortion services.

New York Times 4/19/12; NPR 4/18/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/12/12

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