Texas can defund Planned Parenthood, Federal Appeals Court rules

At last, a state is told that it can do what it wants.

Texas State Capitol

The state of Texas will be allowed to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood. According to Fox News, a federal appeals court has sided with the state by lifting an order that stopped Texas from banning funds to organizations that provide abortions. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans’ unanimous decision gives Texas the ability to cut funding for Planned Parenthood clinics from the Texas Women’s Health Program. The program provides services to women who might not be able to obtain Medicaid.

Pro-life leaders praised the decision, with Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser saying, “In this time of financial crisis, states like Texas should have the right to prioritize their health care funding, placing whole women’s health care, primary care, first.”

In a statement published on Tuesday concerning the ruling, Republican Governor of Texas Rick Perry stated, “Today’s ruling affirms that Texas’ Women’s Health Program has no obligation to fund organizations that promote abortion – including Planned Parenthood. The 5th Circuit’s decision is a win for Texas women, our rule of law and our state’s priority to protect life. We will continue to work with Attorney General Abbott in the fight to defend our state laws.”

The state’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood and its affiliates has not been without major controversy. CNN reports that Medicaid Director Cindy Mann wrote a letter to Texas officials in March, saying the decision would “prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied on for their care.”

And according to Fox News, President Obama told listeners at a July campaign stop in Austin, “We’re not ending funding for Planned Parenthood. I think women should have control of their own health care choices, just like men. We’re not going backwards.” Under the Obama administration, the federal government has sought to punish the state of Texas for its decision to defund Planned Parenthood. The program was supported by about $35 million from the federal government. Under Obama, funding for the Texas’ Women’s Health Program is losing federal support.

Gov. Perry, however, will not back down in the fight to save lives. In his Tuesday statement on the decision, Perry noted, “Texas will continue providing important health services for women through this program in spite of the Obama Administration’s disregard for our state laws and unilateral decision to defund this program.”

CNN reports that state funds do not pay for abortions and that Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas that participate in the program do not perform abortions. However, pro-life advocates maintain that the funding supports Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion agenda by helping the abortion provider stay in business, even without abortions being performed at participating Texas clinics.

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