In 2015, Texas announced that it would officially terminate the Medicaid contracts for all Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. On Tuesday, state health officials in Texas made the decision official, serving a legal notice to officially defund it within 30 days.
The Texas Tribune reports that Planned Parenthood receives $3.1 million in funding, which goes to family planning and women’s health services to the poor. That funding will be cut off in 30 days’ time, unless Planned Parenthood appeals in 15 days. But, as the Tribune reports, they will likely turn to the courts instead, bypassing what would likely be an unsuccessful administrative hearing with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Initially, the state decided to defund Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts as a result of the controversy surrounding the videos released last year by the anti-abortion organization, the Center for Medical Progress, that purported to show various Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue, a practice that is illegal. That, in concert with “unspecified allegations of billing fraud” was enough for the state to cut off Medicaid funding for good.
The decision to defund Planned Parenthood completely through Medicaid will affect thousands of poor women who depend on the clinics for Well Woman checkups, cancer screenings, birth control and various other forms of preventive care.
Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes said in a statement following the notice, “Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients and will seek a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients.”