December 13, 2012 Print

Planned Parenthood Patient Sues Texas

by Bethany Monk

A woman filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Texas hoping the state’s Planned Parenthood may remain part of a women’s health program.

Marcela Balquinta, a Texas Planned Parenthood patient, claims in her lawsuit that the state does not have the authority to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Woman’s Health Program (MWHP).

The program provides the state with a federal match, which accounts for 90 percent its $35 million cost. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, however, will stop funding MWHP on Dec. 31. The state will take control of the program in January.

“Texas Planned Parenthood is desperate to hang on to what taxpayer funding they have left,” said Rachel Bohannon, a spokeswoman for Texas Right to Life.

State legislators passed the law in 2011, separating the abortion seller from the state Medicaid program. The law went into effect in February.

Planned Parenthood filed a separate lawsuit against the state in April seeking to block the state from enforcing a new law that bans taxpayer funds from going to group, or affiliates, that perform abortions. A federal court in August ruled that Texas must stop funding Planned Parenthood clinics while the abortion seller’s lawsuit is going.

Thirteen abortion centers in the state have already shut down due to the state’s defunding, Bohannon said.

Read “A Case to Defund Planned Parenthood.”


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