Texas: Planned Parenthood out of program

Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Texas officials say the state will immediately stop paying for health services provided by Planned Parenthood after a U.S. court has refused to rehear the case.

The federal appeals court ruled in August Texas has the right to bar organizations that perform abortions or are affiliated with organizations that do so from receiving state funding. The court refused Thursday to hold what is known as an en banc hearing, with all appeals judges in the 5th Circuit participating, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Officials said the Texas Women's Health Program will stop using Planned Parenthood clinics next week, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The organization had been providing gynecological services and birth control for 43 percent of the low-income poor women in the program, with most of the funding coming from the federal government.

"Today's ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women's Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion," Gov. Rick Perry said. "In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice."

Jeffrey Hons, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Trust of South Texas, said the group plans to remain active in the state.

"The court's disappointing decision today agrees with the politicians in Austin who engineered this disaster. This ruling further dismantles family planning in the state simply because women trust Planned Parenthood for their Pap tests and birth control. This is shameful," he said. "Politics should never come between a woman and her health care, but in this decision, which conflicts with Supreme Court precedent, it appears it has."

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