Citing the possible loss of health services to women in the state, a federal judge today blocked a Texas law prohibiting state agencies from providing public funds to organizations affiliated with abortion providers.
In issuing the injunction, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel cited the uncertainty of funds for the state’s Women’s Health Program. The Obama administration is pulling $30 million in Medicaid funding to Texas over the law’s passage. Texas Gov. Rick Perry vowed to fully fund the health program independent of federal tax dollars.
The law, passed by the Texas Legislature last year, was challenged in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood, which has eight clinics in the state that do not provide abortions. The group claims that blocking funds to clinics that do not provide abortions — but are affiliated with abortion providers — violates their constitutional rights.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, which wrote model legislation that helped eight states successfully defund Planned Parenthood in 2011, cried foul.
“Planned Parenthood is holding hostage the health care of low-income women across Texas in order to keep its pockets lined with taxpayer dollars,” President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “By suing in court and demanding taxpayer funding, Planned Parenthood may leave the state with no choice but to end the Women’s Health Program in order to ensure that taxpayers are not forced to subsidize the abortion industry.”
A full trial date will be set at a hearing on May 18.
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