A federal judge in Texas yesterday ruled that he could not cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, over secretly shot videos by anti-choice activists.
The footage, which was shot in 2015, has prompted republicans across the country to cut off federal aid dollars that come through Medicaid.
According to the Daily Mail, “An injunction issued by U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state’s Medicaid program.”
Texas is now the 6th state to keep medicaid coverage for Planned Parenthood, despite strong public leanings in the opposite direction. Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked by judges.
The Daily Mail continues:
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas can’t cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists.
The footage shot in 2015 that launched Republican efforts across the U.S. to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.
An injunction issued by U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state’s Medicaid program.
Texas is now at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services, although a bigger question remains over whether President Donald Trump will federally defund the organization.
Sparks’ decision preserves what Planned Parenthood says are cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics. Texas originally intended to boot Planned Parenthood in January but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling. Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked.
Sparks’ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing ‘any evidence’ of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing and stalling on the ouster for nearly a year.
‘A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations – these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,’ Sparks wrote. ‘Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.’
Like in other states, Texas health officials accused Planned Parenthood officials of making misrepresentation to investigators following the release of secretly recorded and heavily edited videos by an anti-abortion group last year. Investigations by 13 states into those videos have concluded without criminal charges, and Planned Parenthood officials have denied any wrongdoing.