OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge in Oklahoma City Monday refused to bar a state agency from ending its contracts with Planned Parenthood.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied Planned Parenthood's motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the Oklahoma Health Department from ending its WIC contracts with the Tulsa, Okla., clinics, the Tulsa World reported.
The WIC program provides nutrition education and food vouchers for women and children. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, is a federal aid program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Planned Parenthood's contract is due to expire Dec. 31. The agency gave Planned Parenthood notice in September it planned to end the contract after first starting to process to renew it in August, the newspaper said.
The World reported Terry J. Bryce, chief of the WIC program for the state, said he recommended ending the program because Planned Parenthood had a decrease in clients, had a higher per-client cost for services and was unresponsive to repeated requests for information.
He testified he was under no political pressure to make the decision.
Planned Parenthood attorneys argued the organization's support for abortion rights played a role in the department's decision not to renew the contracts for the federal program.
Planned Parenthood said it would stay in the Tulsa area, despite the loss in funding.