Court Battle Heats Up over Women's Health Care

Decision expected Dec. 31

The funding fate of Planned Parenthood rests in the hands of a judge on New Year's Eve.

A decision is expected whether the clinic can continue to provide services to low-income women through a state health program, at least temporarily.

Planned Parenthood insists that without its inclusion in the program, thousands of patients would be left without affordable health care. The clinic wants to continue to provide services like birth control and cancer screenings while the battle over money plays out in court.

The state wants to bar Planned Parenthood from its funding through the Women's Health Program in a move to defund clinics and doctors with ties to groups that provide abortions.

Because of the state ban, federal Medicaid funding is set to end on New Year's Day.

The federal government cannot allow the exclusion, which violates the law by denying women the right to choose her doctor.

Rules for the state-funded program would not only bar Planned Parenthood.  There's a "Poison Pill" clause that states if Texas is forced to include Planned Parenthood, it'll end the Women's Health Program entirely.

Right now, approximately 111,000 low-income women in Texas rely on the program for care.

A judge has considered arguments from both sides.  If he sides with Planned Parenthood in his ruling, it would keep the clinic in the Women's Health Progam, at least until the next hearing which is set for Jan. 11.

Contact Us