Reuters (04.11.12) - Thursday, April 12, 2012
On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood filed suit against the state
of Texas over a rule that excludes the organization from
participating in a program that offers reproductive and other
health services to low-income women.
The Texas Women's Health Program, begun in 2007, has always
barred program funds from going to abortion providers or their
affiliates; the ban on affiliates, however, was not enforced.
When Texas notified the federal government in 2011 of its
intent to enforce the ban, the Obama administration responded
by withholding support for the program. The state is suing
over that decision.
Planned Parenthood's lawsuit was filed by a group of
affiliates that do not provide abortions. They claim the rule
is unconstitutional and will result in thousands of women
being unable to access preventive health care from their
"Worst of all, my fears are that these women will forgo life-
saving screenings, comprehensive exams, reliable birth
control, and other vital preventive health care services,"
said Patricio Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association
of Hidalgo County.
Beginning in May, providers out of compliance with the rule
will be removed from the program, said Stephanie Goodman,
spokesperson for the Texas Health and Human Services
Commission. Such a move will result in some Planned Parenthood
centers being forced to close, said Gonzales