Court Rules that Texas Can Totally Act Like a Greedy Dragon and Withhold Planned Parenthood Funding

Texas has received permission to go right ahead with its Planned Parenthood fuckery after a federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that, ahead of a looming trial over a law that lets Texas keep state money away from organizations linked to abortion providers, Texas can totally cut off funding to clinics that provide health services to low-income women. Meanwhile, Rick Perry stalks around the Governor's Mansion in his black turtleneck, waiting for a good opportunity to spring out cat-like from behind a corner and scare the shit out of his wife.

According to the New York Times, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans voted unanimously to lift a federal judge's temporary injunction ordering Texas to continue funding Planned Parenthood clinics pending an October lawsuit that Planned Parenthood filed to challenge a law that allows Texas to withhold state funding. Planned Parenthood's suit argued that the exclusion violates its free speech rights, while the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott contended that lawmakers could decide which organizations received state funds.

Though a federal judge in Austin thought there was enough evidence to show that Texas' law is unconstitutional and therefore ruled that state funding should continue ahead of the October trial, the three-judge appellate panel disagreed, explaining the Planned Parenthood's claim that its free-speech rights were violated was unlikely to succeed in future arguments.

Abbott had a rhetorical victory lap in the wake of the appellate court's decision, saying that the court "rightfully recognized that the taxpayer-funded Women's Health Program is not required to subsidize organizations that advocate for elective abortion." However, according to Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the court's decision will put the health coverage of 52,000 low-income Texas women in jeopardy, letting them share in the same fate of almost 160,000 women whose access to basic health services has been restricted by Gov. Rick Perry "for partisan political reasons." Reasons like states' rights, which, in Rick Perry's estimation, has really just devolved into a metaphorical penis-measuring contest between the federal government and Texas.

Court Allows Texas to Cut Planned Parenthood Funds [AP via NY Times]