A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that both Texas and Louisiana can stop providing funding to Planned Parenthood clinics, a clear move against abortion rights that will disproportionately impact low-income people and people of color.
This move by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans also impacts Mississippi, which is under 5th circuit jurisdiction. Six of Trump’s nominees now sit on this court, four of which participated in this case. This decision reverses an earlier ruling, in which a panel blocked Texas from enforcing a funding ban such as this one.
This loss of funding will impact not only people seeking abortion care, but also cancer screenings, contraception, and other general healthcare services. Melaney A. Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in a joint statement with other Planned Parenthood presidents from across the state, said that “Today’s decision from the 5th Circuit is yet another devastating blow in Texas’ long history of preventing people from accessing life-saving and essential health care at Planned Parenthood…we must do everything we can to expand people’s access to essential health care, not restrict it.”
Texas has historically made attempts to limit and ban abortion, including this year when Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning abortion, using COVID-19 to justify the political move. In Louisiana, Amendment 1 was just passed, which “explicitly states that the state constitution offers no protections for a right to an abortion or funding for abortions”. This particular case regarding Medicaid funding will most likely go to the Supreme Court, where Amy Coney Barrett locks in a conservative, anti-abortion majority on the court.
Sources: CBS News 11/23/20, AP News 11/23/20, Feminist Newswire 4/23/20, Feminist Newswire 11/10/20, Feminist Newswire 10/27/20