Family Planning Group Sues Over Exclusion From Texas Program
Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to stop enforcement of a new Texas rule that excludes the family planning organization from a program that provides cancer screenings, birth control and other health services to low-income women in the state.
The lawsuit filed by a group of Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions says the rule is unconstitutional and that it will lead to tens of thousands of women being unable to get preventive healthcare from their chosen provider.
“Worst of all my fears is that these women will forgo life-saving screenings, comprehensive exams, reliable birth control and other vital preventive healthcare services,” Patricio Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County in South Texas, told reporters on Wednesday.
Since the Texas Women’s Health Program began in 2007, state law has technically banned its money from going to abortion providers or affiliates of abortion providers, but the state did not enforce the ban on affiliates.
In 2011, Texas notified the federal government of its intent to begin enforcing that ban, effectively excluding Planned Parenthood from the program.