Texas Judge Protects Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid Money
A federal judge issued an injunction Tuesday preventing the state of Texas from defunding Planned Parenthood. The state attempted to keep Medicaid dollars from flowing into the abortionist’s coffers after a series of 2015 undercover videos appeared to show Planned Parenthood profiting off the sale of fetal tissue.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks initially suspended Texas’s efforts in January so he could make a final ruling. This week, he determined that lawyers for the state had failed to prove that Planned Parenthood had violated the law and therefore had no credible cause to yank funding from the company. The ruling means that 30 clinics in Texas will continue to serve Medicaid patients as the case moves up the ladder.
“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” wrote the judge. “Yet rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’ efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards praised the ruling in a statement, insisting it was a “victory for Texas women.”
“We will never back down, and we will never stop fighting for our patients,” Richards said.
Singing a different tune was Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said the ruling flew “in the face of basic human decency.”
“The raw, unedited footage from undercover videos exposed a brazen willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal body parts, as well as manipulate the timing and method of an abortion,” Paxton said. “No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct. We should never lose sight of the fact that, as long as abortion is legal in the United States, the potential for these types of horrors will continue.”
Judging by this and other court rulings across the country, it’s clear that conservative states are going to have a very hard time trying to defund Planned Parenthood at the local level. This is something that is going to have to be done in Washington if it’s going to be done at all. And that’s only going to happen if and when Republicans can break through the organization’s fictional premise; i.e., that these funds are not going towards abortion.