Wall Street Journal (06.03.12)
A rule that bars all Texas Planned Parenthood clinics from participating in the state health program for uninsured, low-income women is expected to be the subject of arguments this week in a New Orleans federal appeals court.
Clinics that provide abortions have long been banned from the Texas Women’s Health Program, whose services include cervical and breast cancer screenings and birth control. In February, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said 49 Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions also cannot take part in TWHP, due to their affiliation with Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, which advocates for abortion rights.
The nine Planned Parenthood affiliates that run the 49 clinics filed a lawsuit in April; they claim the rule violates several Constitutional rights, including their right under the First Amendment to associate with abortion providers.
TWHP provided $41 million last year, much of it federal money, including about $13 million to the 49 Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood said its clinics served nearly half of the 103,000 women assisted by TWHP in 2010.