Planned Parenthood Wins Battle in War on Women as Judge Puts Off Exclusion from WHP

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The scuffle between Texas and the feds over women's healthcare was supposed to get real tomorrow, when Planned Parenthood was scheduled to be barred from being a provider for the state's Medicaid Women's Health Program. But earlier today, Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel granted the non-profit its requested preliminary injunction against the state. That means the group will be allowed to remain part of the WHP -- at least for now.

In his ruling, Yeakel wrote that the preliminary injunction was necessary to protect the health of the women enrolled in the WHP, and he expressed little faith that the state will find a way to treat women in need, as Governor Rick Perry has speciously vowed:

"In balancing the relative harm to the parties and the court's concern for the interest of the public," he wrote, "the court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women. ... Although the Governor has instructed that the program is to continue fully funded by Texas, the current record gives the court no comfort that funds are or will be available to continue the program after the phase out of federal funds."

Planned Parenthood's basic argument, as attorney Susan Hays explained to us, is that Texas has placed an unconstitutional limit on WHP providers by banning non-profits that have "abortion affiliates" from the program. (Hays has worked on cases for the Center For Reproductive Rights and is a former Democratic Party chairwoman.)

"The government cannot determine eligibility for a government program on a basis that infiringes on a constitutionally protected liberty," she said. "We can't say you can't get this government program because you own a gun, would be a good analogy."

Yeakel wrote in his ruling that governmental entities are allowed, up to a point, to place limits on eligibility for government-funded programs, particularly if the state has a compelling interest to protect. Many conservative politicians have argued recently that for Texas, that compelling interest is "protecting life" or "fetal viability."

But Yeakel ruled that in pursuing that interest, the state overstepped its bounds. Planned Parenthood's family-planning clinics are free to associate with Planned Parenthood's surgical centers, which perform abortions, he wrote. "By requiring Plaintiffs to certify that they do not 'promote' elective abortions and that they do not 'affiliate' with entities that perform or promote elective abortions, as defined by the rule, Texas is reaching beyond the scope of the government program and penalizing Plaintiffs for their protected conduct," he wrote.

Yeakel also wrote that Planned Parenthood provides "a critical component" of healthcare for poor women, adding, " The court is unconvinced that Texas will be able
to find substitute providers for these women in the immediate future, despite its stated intention to do so."

The next hearing date for the case is May 18. This one could drag on for awhile.



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18 comments
Doug
Doug

Why are they protesting in Austin when it is the federal government that is threatening to cut of funds for the Medicaid Women's Health Program?

wake up
wake up

Judge enforcing 20th century treatment paid for out of our unborn grand kids pockets while India is implementing 21st century tele-medicine at one dollar per office visit.

CountryGirl
CountryGirl

So the state doesn't want abortion clinics and providers. is that the general issue here? If it is, good for them. I am sorry for the people out there that actually need abortions for medical reasons, or if they were raped, but no one should use abortion as birth control and that's the main reason women get abortions in today's world. OMG I made a mistake last night and had sex with some guy! time for an abortion 2 months later. They do have a morning after pill people, use it. A baby has a heart beat at 18 days. Next thing you know we'll be like Australia, trying to pass post birth abortions because they don't consider a person a person until they can contribute to their own life. Birth control is a great thing, no denying it. A lot of people would be in a bad spot financially without it I'm sure. And no woman should have to go without preventative care. There are doctors around that offer women's health without abortions. Maybe the women out there getting abortions for no other reason than they are irresponsible should have to suffer the fate of a post birth abortion. I mean if they can do it to infants they should do it to adults who can't keep their legs closed and can't pay for their own medical. Like it or hate it people, but if a guy kills a pregnant woman he gets charged with two counts of murder, not one, no matter what age the baby is. So is a baby only a baby if the mom wants it? I know plenty of people out there that want babies and can't have them, and I know plenty of people out there that pop out kids non-stop and want nothing to do with them. That is what adoption is for, and no you don't have to go through the state to adopt a child or put a child up for adoption. So at this point it comes down to "Eewwwwww! I don't want stretch marks!" C'mon people, I mean I know society today is extremely self-centered, but this is ridiculous. And before I get attacked by all of the members of the guilty party, just because your conscience eats at you doesn't mean you need to take it out on the rest of us. I am a young mother, I made a bad choice by falling in love with someone who treated me like a punching bag. That is not my daughter's fault. I was a single mom for a few years til I met, fell in love with, and married my husband. It was hard, was a struggle at times, but she was and still is worth every bit of it. Please, if you have never had an abortion, but are considering it, please think twice. If you are any kind of human being, it will haunt you. For those of you who have had an abortion and do regret it, I am sorry that your situation made you think that was the best way to go, and I hope you find peace, for those of you who have had an abortion or maybe more than one and couldn't care less your mother should have had an abortion with you and tried again.

Planned Parenthood Supporter
Planned Parenthood Supporter

The State has already filed a notice of appeal of the temporary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I'm sure the State would love for Judge Edith Jones to grab this case just like she grabbed the last one.

Paul
Paul

 The funds are there.  It is just that Austin (Li'l Ricky and his BFFs) doesn't want the money going to Planned Parenthood's clinics, even though PP is often the only provider to many women of these services in many parts of the state.

It is my understanding that the State DHS contracts with various providers for these services and is reimbursed by the feds.

Paul
Paul

 That is nice, except for the fact that the daily per capita income in India is $3.39 and the average daily income is $21.92 for salaried positions.

The US daily per capita income is $114.15.

The equivalent office visit cost in the US would then be $34.18.

Daniel
Daniel

Sounds like you had a hard time "keeping your legs shut" your own self, Country Girl -- as long as you're doling out badges of shame with such evident gusto and aplomb, I assume you'll have no problem saving one for yourself. 

Also, I've had plenty of premarital sex. Do I get one of those badges? Or are they "for women only"?

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

The funds in question aren't used for abortions. In fact, by providing healthcare and sound medical advice (including prenatal care) to women (and men, btw) PP is helping ensure healthier lives for mothers, fathers and infants.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

 Sorry to hear that you had such a crummy situation, but good for you for getting out of it!

I've never had an abortion, seeing as how Planned Parenthood is so great about birth control. That's been a great help in preventing me from having to make such a dreadful choice.

I did drive a girl to get one once, but she was in poor health (and terrible living conditions) and it would have been bad for everyone involved. She now has a very healthy child, although the birth was difficult (cracked pelvis); but, thanks to universal healthcare, she was able to get the pre- and post-natal care she needed.

The key to preventing abortions is making sure that birth-control is available, something Planned Parenthood does. Trying to defund them in an effort to stop abortion is counterproductive and helps no one.

jdub1772
jdub1772

CountryGirl = 50 year old white guy

biff
biff

That was a nice bit of slut shaming. No birth control works 100% of the time. You have a choice, no matter what.

Doug
Doug

 No, the Feds were going to cut off funding because they didn't like Texas saying the money couldn't be spent at Planned Parenthood.  IOW, they're willing to throw women's health down the toilet in order to protect Planned Parenthood.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

thorspanties
thorspanties

What do you have against a fifty year old white guy wishing to be a country girl? Bigoted, much?

Tired of the loony tunes
Tired of the loony tunes

And the loony tunes government got its way, yet again, through the Fifth Circuit.  And by just a single judge, too - the same one who made AG Holder write "Marbury v. Madison" 100 times on the chalkboard because President Obama was a naughty boy who questioned the Supreme Court's motivations in reviewing the Affordable Care Act.

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALSFOR THE FIFTH CIRCUITNo. 12-50377PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSOCIATION OF HIDALGO COUNTYTEXAS, INCORPORATED; PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSOCIATION OFLUBBOCK, INCORPORATED; PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CAMERONAND WILLACY COUNTIES; FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATES OF SANANTONIO; PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL TEXAS; PLANNEDPARENTHOOD OF GULF COAST, INCORPORATED; PLANNEDPARENTHOOD OF NORTH TEXAS, INCORPORATED; PLANNEDPARENTHOOD OF WEST TEXAS, INCORPORATED; PLANNEDPARENTHOOD OF AUSTIN FAMILY PLANNING, INCORPORATED,Plaintiffs-Appellees,versusTHOMAS M. SUEHS, Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and HumanServices Commission, in His Official Capacity,Defendant-Appellant.Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the Western District of TexasO R D E R:IT IS ORDERED that appellant’s motion for stay pending appeal isGRANTED pending further order of this court. This order is entered by a singlejudge pursuant toFED. R. APP. P. 8(a)(2)(D)./s/ Jerry E. SmithJERRY E. SMITHUnited States Circuit JudgeFED. R. APP. P. 8(a)(2)(D)./s/ Jerry E. SmithJERRY E. SMITHUnited States Circuit Judge

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

No, the state (Rick Perry, essentially) wants to circumvent the rules established for federal funding because of personal viewpoints, even though Planned Parenthood does not and is federally prohibited from using those funds on anything even closely related to an abortion. The federal government said Texas can't make up its own rules because certain members of the state government don't like a legal procedure.

Texas wanted to take its ball and go home, the only problem is it's not their ball.

Tired of the loony tunes
Tired of the loony tunes

Doug, that's just bullshit.  Rick Perry is sacrificing women's health care at the altar of the pro-life crazies.  The zeal with which these crazies hate Planned Parenthood is in direct proportion to the good Planned Parenthood does.

I'm so fucking tired of Texas's loony tunes government.  Will you please get the fuck out of my wife and my daughters' vaginas?

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