Captain Justice, a superhero I just made up, has prevailed for now in the battle for women's health in Texas. Today, a judge ruled that a state law explicitly excluding Planned Parenthood from receiving funds from the Women's Health Program is unconstitutional, as it violates Planned Parenthood's free speech rights. Unfortunately, the Lone Star State will probably just shut down the whole Women's Health Program, anyway, because nothing is more important than proving a political point, not even women's health.
The whole Texerfuck started last year, when leatherfaced Dick Tracy villain governor Rick Perry slashed the state's family planning program by more than two-thirds in an attempt to close a gaping budget shortfall (nothing more cost-saving than making it way easier for poor people to have unplanned pregnancies!). Meanwhile, the state passed a law that would have excluded Planned Parenthood's family planning affiliates from receiving any more money from Planned Parenthood, on account of the fact that they support abortions, and abortions are an abomination against Rick Perry's voting base's Lord.
Except none of the Planned Parenthood affiliates receiving funding from the Women's Health Program were actually performing abortions. In the state of Texas, Planned Parenthood's family planning affiliates are a legal and fiscally separate entity from Planned Parenthood affiliates that provide abortion services. Planned Parenthood argued that excluding the non-abortion providing clinics from state funding because of their association with an abortion provider was akin to infringing on Planned Parenthood's free speech rights. The federal government had already refused to fund its share of the Women's Health Program as a result of the Planned Parenthood exclusion, and Texas vowed to continue the program by using money from its own coffers to keep the program running. A judge agreed with the women's health care provider, concurring that what Texas was trying to do was neither kosher nor halal. Now, if Texas wants any Women's Health Program at all, it will have to comply with the judge's ruling or risk enraging Captain Justice.
But don't breathe a sigh of relief yet, Texas vaginas. The cash-strapped state will likely either appeal the decision or shut down their entire Women's Health Care program as a result of the ruling. Not only is Rick Perry throwing the baby out with the bathwater, he's throwing out the mother with the baby with the bathwater. The streets of Dallas will soon be teeming with bathwater soaked babies and their mothers who lack insurance coverage, as Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured women.