Texas judge OKs ban on Planned Parenthood fundingDecember 31, 2012 @ 11:17 am
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas may cut off funding to Planned Parenthood's family planning programs for poor women, a state judge ruled Monday.
Judge Gary Harger ruled that Texas may exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding if they advocate for abortion rights, attorney general spokeswoman Lauren Bean said.
The state has long banned the use of state funds for abortion, but had continued to reimburse Planned Parenthood clinics for providing basic health care to poor women.
"We are pleased the court rejected Planned Parenthood's latest attempt to skirt state law," Bean said. "The Texas Attorney General's office will continue to defend the Texas Legislature's decision to prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving taxpayer dollars through the Women's Health Program."
Representatives for Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
The Women's Health Program provides check-ups and birth control to 110,000 poor women a year. Planned Parenthood clinics were treating 48,000 of those women.
Planned Parenthood has brought three lawsuits over Texas' so-called "affiliate rule," arguing it violates the constitutional rights of doctors and patients while also contradicting existing state law.
Last week, the group asked Harger for a temporary restraining order against enforcing the ban until a judge can decide its case to overthrow the rule. Harger rejected the request.
Another hearing is scheduled with a different judge for Jan. 11, where Planned Parenthood will again ask for an injunction to receive state funding.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
The Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow openly gay boys
There's a Zone for That
Mapping out a plan for marijuana growers and sellers
The Wolfpack is Back
Will 'Part III' leave you with a hangover? Find out if it's worth your time
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.