A federal judge from Texas blocked cutting funds from Planned Parenthood in the state on February 21, stating that allegations against the women’s health center were ‘unsubstantiated and indeterminate.’ Judge Sam Sparks’ bottom line: Texas cannot kick Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid.
US District Court Judge Sam Sparks, 78, ruled on February 21 that clinics associated with Planned Parenthood in Texas are allowed to continue caring for their patients under the state’s Medicaid program. It’s a relief for reproductive rights, and a thorn in conservatives’ sides. Judge Sparks’ 42-page ruling comes a year after Planned Parenthood sued Texas for the ability to continue using the joint federal-state healthcare program that helps poor and disabled patients.
Texas-based Planned Parenthoods were in danger of losing their Medicare status after anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress released a heavily edited video in 2015. The eight hour-long video was edited to show Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast workers allegedly admitting to selling aborted fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly denied these claims, and reiterated that the video was edited.
Judge Sparks agreed with that in his ruling: “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,” he wrote in an order.
“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.” He wasn’t messing around! Because of the judge, families in Texas in need will be able to continue to receive the help they need. He explained further that it’s just not reasonable to assume that patients from 30 clinics could all find other doctors.
“The Court is not convinced all of the Provider Plaintiffs’ patients would be able to quickly and easily find new providers if they were prevented from seeing their chosen provider, a harm in and of itself,” he wrote. “Terminating the Provider Plaintiffs would eliminate thirty health centers across Texas from the Medicaid program. These centers are the only family planning specialists in the state and provide a wide variety of services in a manner specifically designed to be convenient for vulnerable populations.”
Though this only affects Planned Parenthoods in Texas, it’s a major blow in the face to the Trump administration. President Trump signed an executive order defunding abortion in international non-government health organizations associated with the US within days of taking office. Never forget that VP Mike Pence is the man who instigated the federal government shutdown in 2013 to defund Planned Parenthood.
HollywoodLifers, tell us what you think in the comments.