• Sun, May 6 2012

Second Federal Court Tells Texas It Can’t Defund Planned Parenthood (Yet)

In the continuing saga of Texas v. Planned Parenthood, a second federal court has told Gov. Rick Perry et al. that they can’t play political football with women’s health care access, at least for the time being.

A quick summary of relevant events:

  • To this aim, the state tried to block Planned Parenthood from participating in its Women’s Health Program, which offers Medicaid vouchers to low-income women to help cover health care costs (despite the fact— worth emphasizing every time we talk about this—that federal money is never allowed to be used for abortion services, anyway, so the vouchers already couldn’t be used to pay for abortions).
  • Planned Parenthood and affiliates sued.

Cased closed? Au contraire. The state appealed, claiming “irreparable harm” if it couldn’t go through with dissipating low-income women’s access to health care in Texas. Thus the issue was kicked to the U.S. fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. And the New Orleans court—yay!—not only upheld the injunction for now, it accused Texas of omitting facts that “call into question” its claim of emergency (in other words, of being big fat liars, or at least disingenuous).

Case closed? Ha! The appeals court didn’t yet rule on the merits of the case, meaning the injunction is still only temporary. Oral arguments on the injunction will be revisited in early June. For now, however … Well, as Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement: ”Planned Parenthood’s doors are open today and they’ll be open tomorrow.”

“We won’t let politics interfere with the health care that nearly three million people a year rely on Planned Parenthood for in Texas and around the country,” she said.

Photo: Helen L. Montoya/San Antonio Express-News

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  • rokidtoo

    Texas, don’t worry about it. The Robert’s Court will eventually rule in your favor. Poor people aren’t people, only corporations are people!

    • ATK

      Poor unborn people aren’t people, only white know it all Anglo “progressives” are people.

  • indy

    Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide any actual healthcare in Texas. You show up, they refer you elsewhere. They have no staff, no equipment, or anything that actually has to do with healthcare.

    That issue seems to confuse a lot of people.

    • Eloise

      Ummm that is completely false. I live in Texas and have been going to a Planned Parenthood since high school, getting well woman checks, pap smears, breast exams, and lab work done. I think you are the one confused. Sorry.

    • Elizabeth Nolan Brown

      I read indy’s comment and thought, hmm, I’ve gone to Planned Parenthood in several states, and they’ve all provided exams and such there, but I guess I don’t know for sure about Texas … Thanks for clearing that up, Eloise.