Texas just officially defunded Planned Parenthood

Over a year ago Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott vowed to remove Planned Parenthood’s $3.1 million in Medicaid funding.  His pledge last year to defund one of the largest healthcare providers in the state was a response to conservative outrage over the release of fraudulent videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials illegally trafficking fetal tissue.

One year later Abbott is making good on his promise.  The Texas Tribune reports that the state delivered final legal notice to Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, informing it that Medicaid funding will be nixed within 30 days.

This isn’t the first (or last) time Texas lawmakers have taken action against Planned Parenthood.  In 2013 the Texas House passed the controversial HB2 Bill, which dramatically cut the number of abortion clinics in Texas.  The bill has already had a huge effect on the health of women in Texas.  The Texas Policy Evaluation Project found that at least 100,000 and as many as 240,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce abortions since the passage of the bill in 2013.

“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,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said.

Abbott issued a notice of intent to remove Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Medicaid program in October 2015.  His action piggy-backed off the media frenzy and ensuing scandal over videos produced by anti-abortion activists who released falsified videos of Planned Parenthood personnel negotiating the illegal sale of fetal tissue.  Of the thirteen states that investigated the footage and the claims, all cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrong doing.

In a letter warning Planned Parenthood of the funding shut-down, Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen noted that the videos are, “the basis for your termination.”

Despite being the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood receives no public funding in Texas for abortion services.  The removal of Medicaid funding threatens to leave thousands of low-income Texans without access to routine healthcare check-ups, cancer screenings, birth control and other forms of preventative care.

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