Texas to cut Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

Texas to cut Planned Parenthood from Medicaid
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Planned Parenthood will no longer receive funding from Texas's Medicaid program, state health officials announced Tuesday. 

Officials delivered a final legal notice to Planned Parenthood, The Texas Tribune reported, and the change will take effect in 30 days unless the organization files an appeal with the state. 

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and state health officials first moved to cut Medicaid funding last year when controversial undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials surfaced. 

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Anti-abortion groups claimed the videos prove the organization is "harvesting" fetal tissue, but the videos were proved to be highly edited, and Planned Parenthood fully denied the allegations. 

Texas's Planned Parenthood affiliates use Medicaid funding for family planning and women's health services — separate from its abortion services, which don't receive public funds. 

The battle will likely move to federal court. 

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit a year ago to try to block Texas from stripping the organization of Medicaid funding, but that suit has sat idle as the organization waited for the state to deliver its final legal notice, the Tribune notes. 

The Obama administration has repeatedly warned Texas and other states that stripping Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood affiliates could violate federal law. 

According to the Tribune, Planned Parenthood serves about 12,000 low-income women in the state and previously received more than $3 million in Medicaid funding. 

Planned Parenthood says these women have very low incomes and no health insurance and often have nowhere else to turn for care.

Nearly half of the organization's health centers in Texas cover underserved areas or rural areas, Planned Parenthood says. 

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards called Texas's decision a "cautionary tale for the rest of the nation." 

"With this action, the state is doubling down on reckless policies that have been absolutely devastating for women," Richards said in a statement.

"Already, tens of thousands of people have nowhere to turn for birth control, cancer screenings, HIV tests, and other care. If the nation goes the way of Texas, it will be nothing less than a national health care disaster. We will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the care they need.”