Judge rules Texas can defund Planned Parenthood
AUSTIN, TX, January 2, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The year 2013 marks a new era for the state of Texas: It is the first year the state’s health program has not funded Planned Parenthood affiliates.
The new relationship went into effect on New Year’s Day, one day after District Judge Gary Harger denied the abortion provider’s request for a temporary injunction against the law.
“Judge Harger has reaffirmed the state’s right to keep tax dollars out of the abortion industry,” said Elizabeth Graham, Director of Texas Right to Life.
Governor Rick Perry launched the new Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP) on January 1 after defunding the abortion giant.
While the old Women’s Health Program did not pay for abortion, a little less than half of the 110,000 procedures state taxpayers funded each year under the program were performed by Planned Parenthood.
After Texas voted to exclude abortion providers or their affiliates, President Obama withheld federal funds, which accounted for 90 percent of the $40 million program. Gov. Perry responded by creating the new TWHP, funded entirely by the state.
Underprivileged women may now choose from 3,500 health care providers – more than 1,000 more than they had access to under the federally funded program.
Ken Lambrecht, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, accused Texas officials of “letting politics jeopardize health care access for women.”
In October, Perry called on Planned Parenthood to “end the scare tactics that have been going on, and focus on what’s truly important – and that’s helping these patients get the services that they need and that they deserve.”
Their lawsuit, he said, only served to “confirm that their own profits and their pro-abortion agenda are more important than the women they claim to care for.”
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If the industry truly cared about poor women, they could help them find care from the thousands of caregivers who do not base their business on abortion, state officials said.
Linda Edwards Gockel, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, said, “We welcome Planned Parenthood’s help in referring patients to providers in the new program.”
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