Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood from Medicaid Program

AUSTIN, TX -- Today, the Office of the Inspector General at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission issued a letter ending Planned Parenthood's participation in the state's Medicaid Program. The letter was issued based on evidence of Medicaid violations by Planned Parenthood's affiliates.

The letter lists several reasons for ending Planned Parenthood's participation in the Texas Medicaid Program, such as "that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner." The letter also makes note that there are thousands of alternative women's healthcare providers in Texas.

"In 2011, the Texas Legislature defunded Planned Parenthood $29 million per year in taxpayer dollars. This past session, the Legislature went further and removed Planned Parenthood from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program, shifting $1.4 million to other providers. And now Planned Parenthood has finally been cut out of the Texas Medicaid Program, from which they were receiving nearly $2 million a year," said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. "We are pleased that Planned Parenthood will no longer be receiving these taxpayer dollars, while the Gov. Abbott and the Texas Legislature are funding women's health services at historically high levels through thousands of better providers."

While Planned Parenthood has only about 35 facilities in Texas of which five are abortion facilities, the Texas Women's Health Program has more than 4,600 providers for low-income women across the state, none of which provide abortions or are affiliated with abortion providers.

Earlier this month Gov. Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative, which includes totally defunding Planned Parenthood as one of its stated goals. Abbott praised the actions of the Health and Human Services Commission. "Texas has stepped forward and shown its unyielding commitment to both protecting life and providing women's health services," he said. "The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end. As such, ending the Medicaid participation of Planned Parenthood affiliates in the State of Texas is another step in providing greater access to safe healthcare for women while protecting our most vulnerable -- the unborn."

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