Yesterday, in a major victory for pro-life advocates, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which is one step below the Supreme Court) ruled that the State of Texas indeed has the right to defund Planned Parenthood.
Previous to this, the Texas legislature (like many other state legislatures) voted to defund Planned Parenthood. In other states that have defunded Planned Parenthood, President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services (HHS) have attempted to step in and directly fund Planned Parenthood with federal money, or they have threatened to defund a state’s entire health care program for women if some of the budget had previously been slated to go to Planned Parenthood.
So in March, HHS stopped funding Texas’ Women’s Heath Program (which serves over 150,000 women) and Planned Parenthood (which represents only 2 of the more than 2,500 health care providers!) sued the state of Texas. That case has been working its way through the courts, and yesterday’s decision vindicated the pro-life’s side.
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, in her statement reacting to the decision, claimed: “This case has never been about Planned Parenthood — it’s about the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams.”
Wrong. If this had been about women’s health, Planned Parenthood easily could have stopped doing abortions and been again eligible to participate in the Texas’ Women’s Health Program. Instead, while being only a tiny fraction of the clinics that provide “care” to women in Texas, Planned Parenthood was happy to sit by and watch health care for tens of thousands of Texan women be jeopardized.
Richards ended her statement with this defiant claim: “Planned Parenthood health center doors are open today, and they’ll be open tomorrow.”
Maybe, but at least the good people of Texas won’t be forced to pay to keep these doors of death open!