Court Will Soon Decide Whether Texas Can Still Get Federal Cash If It Cuts Planned Parenthood Out of Its Women's Health PlanS

A Waco, Texas federal district court will hear Texas explain tomorrow why the state deserves a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — aka, why the state deserves tons of $$$ for its women's health program even though it wants to cut out Planned Parenthood, the organization that actually helps all of the women.

Some background: the government wants to exclude Planned Parenthood as an approved provider in Texas's Women's Health Program because Planned Parenthood = abortions (even though the clinics in the program don't administer abortions) = baby-killers = evil = you get the point. The only problem is that the state-run program gets 90 percent of its $35 million funding from Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quite reasonably think that women should be able to choose their provider and that preventing them from doing so violates their constitutional rights. (Fuck yeah, Medicaid.)

Oh, and Planned Parenthood currently serves almost half of the state's 130,000 low-income women — which, again, provides preventative cancer screenings and all kinds of other crucial health services but not abortions. Repeat: they do not provide abortions! The Dallas Morning News sums up the ridiculousness well by stating that "The state wishes to defund Planned Parenthood under the abortion affiliates ban because it shares a name with a privately funded arm that offers abortions." No snarky commentary necessary! The state's position is that dumb.

It's dumb, but it's dangerous, and the state is asking for the injunction so that they can continue to get federal money for the program, which is set to launch January 1st. Its argument is that it was unlawful for Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to take away the funding in the first place. Texas is calling her actions "coercive," so you know they mean business. Cross your fingers and hope the court realizes the state's women need these Planned Parenthood clinics.

[Dallas Morning News]