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Texas pressing forward on defunding Planned Parenthood: pro-life advocates

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AUSTIN, Texas, December 16, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven weeks after declaring their intention to defund Planned Parenthood, state officials haven't followed through on the threat.

Instead, reports The Texas Tribune, when Planned Parenthood took the defund effort to court last week, Judge Sam Sparks canceled the hearing because state officials did not submit paperwork to take away Planned Parenthood's funding.

However, the state's top pro-life group has expressed confidence in Governor Greg Abbott's "goals of cancelling the Medicaid contracts of the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas."

The state said in an October 21 "notice of termination" that it had "reliable information indicating a pattern of illegal billing practices" by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. If proven, such accusations would be in keeping with practices found in an Alliance Defending Freedom report of Planned Parenthood billing practices.

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Abbott's office did not respond to a request for comment, instead referring LifeSiteNews to the inspector general of the Texas Department of State Health Services. A spokesperson for that office declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

A spokesperson for the attorney general's office likewise did not respond to a request for comment by press time. However, Texas Right to Life's John Seago told LifeSiteNews that his group "supports Governor Abbott's and Inspector General Bowen's goals of canceling the Medicaid contracts of the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas."

While the Tribune's coverage points to several pending claims of illegal activity dating back several years that the state has allegedly not moved on, Seago said, "We believe that Governor Abbott and Inspector General Bowen will thoroughly prepare and present the best case of why Planned Parenthood is not deserving of taxpayer funding and how they have disqualified themselves from Medicaid through illegal activity, including committing fraud to steal money from Texas taxpayers."

"We applaud the strong case they have built against the abortion giant in Texas, including focusing on the much neglected fact that Planned Parenthood has been accused of, has admitted to, and has been found guilty of Medicaid fraud," continued Seago. "Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas have been very successful at entrenching themselves in tax-funded programs, and there are no shortcuts in removing them."

Those familiar with the case believe that rather than shying away from a weak case, Abbott's office is building a complex case against America's abortion giant.

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