Gov. Abbott’s office just tweeted out a link to a press release:
This announcement comes on the same day when a federal district judge issued a temporary injunction, which could become permanent, barring Gov. Bobby Jindal from cutting of Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood in Louisiana. The judge issued the ruling citing the fact that 5,200 clients would have nowhere else to go if Planned Parenthood could not care for them.
At the beginning of August, Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor announced that his agency was investigating Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, headquartered in Houston, over allegations of irregularities in fetal tissue handling. Now that his office has concluded its investigation, it makes the recommendation to pull funding based on three points:
That Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.
The termination of all Planned Parenthood affiliates will not affect access to care because there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas including federally qualified heath centers, Medicaid-certified rural health clinics, and other health care providers across the state that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program and Medicaid.
The State of Texas requests cooperation in informing all clients and potential clients of alternatives where they can obtain Medicaid services from providers in good standing with the State.
We shall see what proof Health & Human Services provides, but keep in mind that Planned Parenthood in Texas has not participated in any fetal tissue donations since 2010.
Other states have launched investigations based on the same deceptive videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, run by a known anti-abortion activist, that were the basis for the Texas investigation. Even avowed anti-choice elected officials have had to admit that they could find no violations.
Here are some facts that you should know:
Planned Parenthood clinics that receive Medicaid funds do not provide abortions, but they do provide a range of life-saving preventive care and treatment for some of the poorest people in the state. We’ve covered this.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast will challenge this Texas decision as it has challenged the Louisiana decision, and will undoubtedly be joined by other Planned Parenthood affiliates around the state. And the state will lose—the federal government has made it clear that defunding Planned Parenthood is likely a violation of federal law.
Resources that could have been devoted to improving healthcare access for Texans in need of basic medical services will be diverted to cope with a crisis manufactured by the governor and his cronies.
In the meantime, as the Republicans play politics with healthcare, Texans will suffer. Appointments will be postponed or cancelled. Follow-up visits will be missed. Opportunities for detection and treatment for preventable health problems ranging from high blood pressure to sexually transmitted infections will decline. And the need for abortion will rise, not fall, as people who cannot get access to low-cost, effective birth control services are faced with decisions about unplanned and often unwanted pregnancies.
Updated to include this statement:
Statement from Melaney Linton, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:
**TEXAS: Our health centers are open and accepting Medicaid.**
“Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been a trusted provider for nearly 80 years. More than ever it is clear that efforts to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast through Medicaid are politically motivated. They clearly have nothing to do with the well-being of the people of Texas. Tens of thousands of women are already going without care after years of policies aimed at blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood. Now Texas politicians are using thoroughly discredited, bogus attacks against Planned Parenthood as a shameful excuse to attack Texas women’s health yet again. Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for access to health care and information for all our patients and women and men in the communities we serve.”