Judge approves of Texas plan to defund Planned Parenthood
NEW ORLEANS, October 26, 2012, (LifeSiteNews) – The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear Planned Parenthood’s complaint about a Texas law that bars their participation in the state’s Medicaid program on Thursday, allowing Texas to withhold state funds from the abortion provider.
Planned Parenthood argued unsuccessfully that the law violates Medicaid patients’ constitutional rights.
The “ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women’s Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion,” said Governor Rick Perry celebrating the decision. “In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice.”
Texas has gone further than other states in its attempt to defund the abortion industry. Most states accept federal funding for Medicaid, which covers 90 percent of expenses as long as states allow patients to choose any medical provider from their list of “qualified” professionals. Planned Parenthood is on that list.
Texas has, at least for now, assumed all health care costs for the state’s poor, forgoing federal money—and the strings that come with it.
Thursday’s decision came soon after federal judges blocked two other states’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Judges in two separate courts ruled this month that Indiana and Arizona must continue Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood despite state laws barring payments for abortions. Both states accept federal funding for Medicaid.
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If successful, Texas’s approach to defunding the abortion provider could prove to be a model to other states wishing to keep taxpayer money out of the hands of abortionists. While the federal court has ruled in Texas’s favor, Planned Parenthood filed a new lawsuit in state court on Friday, arguing the ban is invalid under state law.
Governor Perry said in a statement that having lost on its constitutional claims, Planned Parenthood is now soliciting Travis County judges “in a desperate effort to find some way to keep making money off Texas taxpayers.”
“In Texas, we’ve chosen to protect innocent life,” Perry said. “We will keep fighting for life, and we will ultimately prevail.”