Texas Is Defunding Planned Parenthood From Medicaid

Photo: Helen L. Montoya/San Antonio Express-News/Zuma Press Inc/Alamy
As if women's health wasn't in jeopardy enough in the coming years, Texas just officially decided to defund Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program, severely limiting low-income women's access to healthcare. The Texas Tribune reports that the state delivered a final legal notice on Tuesday that eliminates funding in 30 days.

Up until now, Planned Parenthood had received $3.1 million in Medicaid funding, but it's been under threat for over a year. Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials first threatened this notice in October 2015, but hadn't officially given it until now.

Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen says the undercover videos that purported to prove that the that the organization is profiting off the sales of fetal tissue are to blame, despite the fact that investigations turned up no evidence.

“Your misconduct is directly related to whether you are qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner,” the notice reads. “Your actions violate generally accepted medical standards, as reflected in state and federal law, and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination.”

Planned Parenthood has 15 days to appeal the decision by requesting an administrative hearing with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Instead, the organization is going to the courts.

"Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients and will seek a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients," said Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. Fingers crossed.
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