Local reaction to Texas cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood

Undercover videos suggesting Planned Parenthood makes money off of aborted fetal tissue made waves earlier this summer.

On Monday morning, Governor Abbott tweeted "Texas completely ends taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.  Harvesting baby parts will not be tolerated."

 


  
Lucy Stein with Progress Texas is not pleased with the governor.

 

"This is a disturbing, political and utterly ruthless attack on reproductive healthcare by Governor Greg Abbott.  Cutting Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid program in Texas will jeopardize the health and safety of Texas women and Texas families across the state," Stein said.

The "Notice of Termination" sent to Texas Planned Parenthood clinics by Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr. says based on Medicaid program violations captured on video the state has determined that the Planned Parenthood affiliates are quote "no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner."
  
Carol Everett is with the pro-life "Heidi Group" -- she says the Medicaid cut-off won't do much.

"In 2011, Texas de-funded Planned Parenthood.  But Obama directly funded them in Texas.  So their money does not come from Texas.  And the Medicaid money was less than $2 million a year so that's not a lot of money for them.  This is not going to affect Planned Parenthood," Everett said.

Everett says she does hope this will encourage women to go to another provider with better care that doesn't have an abortion agenda.

"There's a broader spectrum of care outside of Planned Parenthood.  So cutting out an abortion provider for violating the laws and for selling babies' body parts...is just humane to me," Everett said.

In the letter from the state, the Inspector General echoed that saying there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas that participate in the Texas Women's Health Program and Medicaid.

"That's completely ridiculous.  When the state did this in 2011, the number of women that were able to access care dropped by 25% and that means 1 in 4 women weren't able to access the care that they needed," Stein said.

In a statement on Facebook, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas said in part: "Thousands of women are already going without care after years of policies aimed at blocking access to Planned Parenthood.  Now Texas politicians are using thoroughly discredited attacks against Planned Parenthood as a shameful excuse to attack women's health yet again, with no plan to cover the services lost."

As of Monday afternoon, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas says they haven't actually received the Notice of Termination yet.
  
But this may end up in the courts anyway.
  
In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal ordered the state to block funding after those videos...Planned Parenthood filed suit...and today a federal judge ordered the state to continue to provide Medicaid funding for 14 more days.

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