February 28, 2012 Print

Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood Completely

by Karla Dial

The federal government may soon be shutting of Medicaid funding to Texas after the Lone Star State followed through on legislation last week to completely defund Planned Parenthood.

State Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs signed the final rule into law last Thursday saying no family planning agency that performs or promotes elective abortions will receive any of the $16 million of state funding — and approximately a dozen Planned Parenthood offices across the state have closed so far. The rule takes effect on March 14; the state Legislature passed the law last June.

As a result, the Obama administration is threatening to cut off all $40 million of federal Medicaid funding to Texas, which is used in part to give low-income women health screenings. Planned Parenthood received approximately 44 percent of the Medicaid funds.

“The Legislature has spoken. The attorney general has said it is constitutional. The Commissioner has signed the rule,” said Kyleen Wright, president of the Texas for Life Coalition. “If Planned Parenthood cared as much about affordable health care for women as they say, they would get out of the way so that the program could continue.”

Read Texas SB 7.

Read a letter from state Sen. Robert F. Deuell seeking an opinion from state Attorney General Greg Abbot about whether defunding Planned Parenthood is constitutional.

Read Abbott’s response.



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