Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood, Cuts $3.1 Million in Medicaid Funds

Texas has officially defunded Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, canceling its millions of dollars in funding from the Medicaid program.
A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York August 31, 2015.

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Texas has officially defunded Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, canceling its millions of dollars in funding from the Medicaid program.

State health officials issued the final legal notice to cut $3.1 million, the amount that the organization receives, from Medicaid.

This will be applied in 30 days unless Planned Parenthood requests for an administrative hearing with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in the next 15 days to reconsider the decision, The Texas Tribune reported.

State officials said the undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staff discussing prices of fetal body parts for research was proof of its “misconduct.” They said that the organization has violated state and federal law.

Citing the organization’s said violation, Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen questioned whether the organization is qualified to provide the services it offers in a “professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.”

“Your actions violate generally accepted medical standards, as reflected in state and federal law, and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination,” Bowen wrote in the final notice.

In October 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Panel on Infant Lives was formed to investigate the issues shown in the undercover videos.

Early this month, the Select Panel released a report enumerating the names of nine abortion facilities and fetal tissue procurement companies that are being recommended for criminal sanction, according to LifeNews.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in southeast Texas was included in the list because it “broke the law when it sold aborted baby remains for profit to the University of Texas.” This statement was backed up by evidence obtained by Briscoe Cain, Operation Rescue’s attorney in Texas, who made a Freedom of Information Act request for the records.

Planned Parenthood has denied such claims, saying the undercover videos had been heavily edited to make it look like they were guilty of wrongdoing. It has also criticized Texas officials’ move to kick out its funding from Medicaid.

"Texas is a cautionary tale for the rest of the nation. With this action, the state is doubling down on reckless policies that have been absolutely devastating for women," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said.

The organization said it provides medical services to 11,000 women in the state every year through Medicaid. It said it would ask the courts to prevent the state from cutting its funding next year.

Other states like Kansas and Arkansas have attempted to defund Planned Parenthood facilities after the undercover videos came out, but the courts have rejected such efforts.

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