Andrew Burton—Getty Images
By Samantha Cooney
December 21, 2016

It will now be much harder for low-income women to get health services from Planned Parenthood in Texas.

The Texas Tribune reported that the state is finalizing plans to kick Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program in 30 days, meaning that the organization will no longer receive $3.1 million in funding. The move could affect up to 11,000 patients, and because the Hyde Amendment blocks federal funding from being used to perform abortions except in certain cases, most of that money is used to provide other healthcare services, including cancer screenings and birth control, for women in the state.

“Texans expect that when taxpayer dollars are granted to health care providers, it is only to those who demonstrate that the health and safety of their patients come before a profit motive that puts women at greater risk,” Governor Greg Abbott, who is anti-abortion, said in a statement, according to the New York Times.

The funding cut-off can be delayed if Planned Parenthood requests a hearing with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in the next 15 days. But according to the Tribune, the women’s health organization will instead fight the move in court.

“Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients and will seek a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients,” Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, told the Tribune.

This isn’t the first time Texas has tried to slash funding to Planned Parenthood. In October 2015, the state said it would boot Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Program following a controversy around altered videos released by an anti-abortion group that purported to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing using fetal tissue for research. The state cited the videos (which Planned Parenthood said were deceptively edited) and an alleged “pattern of illegal billing practices” among the reasons it was slashing funding to the organization in 2015. But the plan was repeatedly delayed.

The move will likely face a legal challenge. In 2015, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked a similar plan, saying it would cause Planned Parenthood and its patients “irreparable harm.”

[The Texas Tribune]

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