CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Texas Begins Process to End Medicaid Funding to Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood
(Photo : Hourick/Wikimedia/CC) Texas HHS commission sent a termination notice to Planned Parenthood to begin the process of defunding the organization via Medicaid.

Texas officially began the process to pull out Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program last week by sending it a termination notice, after considering the move for over a year.

The organization received $3.1 million in funding from Medicaid, but the aid will be ceased in the coming year.

"Texans expect that when taxpayer dollars are granted to health care providers, it is only to those who demonstrate that the health and safety of their patients come before a profit motive that puts women at greater risk," office of Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood can appeal Texas government's decision in the next 15 days at the state Health and Human Services Commission, but the abortion provider will seek to challenge the termination notice at the courts instead.

"Texas is a cautionary tale for the rest of the nation. With this action, the state is doubling down on reckless policies that have been absolutely devastating for women," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

"The State has determined that you and your Planned Parenthood affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner," Stuart Bowen Jr., head of the Office of Inspector General at the Texas HHS Commission, wrote in his letter to Planned Parenthood.

Bowen Jr. said that the notice of termination sent to the organization is not the final step in defunding it via Medicaid, but that it is an initiation of the enforcement process.

"We did not terminate them," he told The Texas Tribune. "We began a process ... inclusive of the development of evidence."

Planned Parenthood said that the decision could impact about 11,000 patients.

"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," said Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, the organization's political arm.

Bowen also wrote in the letter to Planned Parenthood that termination of services will not affect care for women in Texas and will be transferred to alternative providers in the state.

Tags Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

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