Last week, the Texas health and human services commissioner, Dr. Kyle Janek, announced he would end the Texas Women’s Health Program if a federal appeals court allows Planned Parenthood to participate.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. Then, in late August,a federal court ruled in favor of Texas, allowing the state to move forward in banning government funding for Planned Parenthood under the Texas Women’s Health Program. The case is currently being appealed at the federal level.
Kenneth Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas responded, “It is shocking that state officials would rather end low-income women’s access to family planning and preventive health services altogether than allow Planned Parenthood to provide these vital health services.”
The Texas Women’s Health Program currently serves 100,000 low income women with Planned Parenthood as its largest provider, serving about 40% of its patients. Planned Parenthood said in a statement that the August ruling put the health of approximately 52,000 Texas women at risk.
Media Resources: Reuters 10/18/12; Feminist Newswire 04/12/12; Feminist Newswire 08/22/12; Associated Press 10/18/12; The Hill Blog 10/19/12