In Never-Ending Battle Between Texas and Planned Parenthood, Judge Says PP Can Be Blocked From New Women's Health Program

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For those of you who have been following the ongoing, never-ending, multi-court battle of Texas vs. Planned Parenthood, we'll make this quick: Planned Parenthood is out of the Texas Women's Health Program. Again. For now.

Now, let's all heave a huge collective sigh and revisit the longer version of the story. (Quickly, I promise.) Texas wants Planned Parenthood's health clinics out of the WHP, because the non-profit has legally and financially separate surgical centers that perform abortions. The WHP is for non-pregnant women and doesn't ever pay for or provide abortions anyway, so you go ahead and figure out the logic there. Texas is set to begin its own WHP on January 1, one that doesn't get any federal funding. They're doing this solely to try to keep PP from the program, something they couldn't do while receiving federal money.

In October, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said they wouldn't re-hear Planned Parenthood's case appealing their ban from the new, state-run program. Governor Rick Perry declared victory, saying he would "immediately defund" PP.

Not so fast: later that afternoon, Texas won a temporary restraining order from a state judge to remain in the program. On November 8, a different state judge granted Planned Parenthood a longer-lasting temporary injunction .

That kept Planned Parenthood in the program and seeing WHP patients. But the state successfully appealed that injunction and once again began trying to kick PP out of the program. So earlier this month, Planned Parenthood filed two new lawsuits against the state. One was actually filed by a woman named Marcy Balquinta, a WHP patient. She claimed that under state law, Texas didn't have the power to exclude PP from the program simply because they dislike abortion. (The other suit, filed in federal court, says that Texas is placing unconstitutional restrictions on PP, despite it being a qualified healthcare provider.)

In the state suit, Planned Parenthood is also fighting what they call a "poison pill" severability clause. Basically, Texas says they'll shut down the entire Texas Women's Health Program if the court ultimately allows Planned Parenthood to participate. (That would leave hundreds of thousands of poor women without affordable healthcare access, thus showcasing the state's apparently deep and entirely sincere concern for women's health.)

Today's ruling was in the state suit. It denies Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary injunction to allow it to stay in the new state WHP. That program is set to begin on January 1.

In other words, the program will launch tomorrow without Planned Parenthood. At least until January 11, when yet another hearing will be held.

Lauren Bean, a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's Office, told the Texas Tribune that the AG is pleased that the court has "rejected Planned Parenthood's latest attempt to skirt state law." Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas CEO Ken Lambrecht has already issued a statement, calling it "shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women."

Honestly, we're not that shocked. Not anymore.


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23 comments
SeeTheFunnyWhiteMan
SeeTheFunnyWhiteMan

Once Slick Rick left the comfort of his momma's uterus, he appears to have lost all affinity and appreciation for female genitalia.

Such an aversion seems to be widely shared amongst white conservative males. Which readily explains why women find right wing crackers so undesirable...the 'tighty whities' are so terrified of female genitalia that they feel the need for governmental intervention.

MisterMean
MisterMean

Well it is time to start having churches pay taxes.   The amount taxable could be computed after they deduct their charitable works (if any).   I will also call to your attentions the letters to the editor in the Sunday DMN by  Dr. Robert Henderson who cites the hypocrisy of the Catholic church against birth control and his assertion that HIV medications for priests due to their questionable activities.  Religious matters aside it is also time for Rick Perry to go back into private life (after he pays the state back for his failed presidential bid in the Taliban-Republican Party.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

This sure appears to be a bill of attainder and as such is unConstitutional.

oodarkroom
oodarkroom

Ditto to paying for your Viagra. BTW, is it a coincidence that you call yourself "everlasting"? I think not.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

If you don't want government bureaucrats all up in your hoo-haw, stop expecting them to pay all your hoo-haw expenses.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@oodarkroom Getting laid has always cost men more than the $10 for the pill.  When I can't afford to get my pecker up (one way or the other) then I can just do without for a while.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

phelps says: if you are poor, just suffer without medical care. screw you, the state should not be there to provide you any help.

and here many of us thought that social darwinian believers had disappeared....

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@everlastingphelps you do realize how terrible healthcare is in this state, right Phelps? Unless you can wrangle insurance from your employer, your options are go to the ER and get a $60,000 bill (no shit, my brother just did) or die. There is one free clinic I know of for basic health in Dallas proper, they operate on donations and you've gotta line up at 5am to get in, and all they can really do is tell you what's wrong and then tell you to go to the ER at Baylor. To say nothing of the fact that preventative medicine is proven far more successful than reactive medicine. There is a reason United Healthcare (among others) substantially drops rates if you do simply a yearly physical.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@pak152

so erectile dysfunction is "a medical condition" but pregnancy and cancer are not?

too funny. well, sort of funny. it is hard to find humour in people being penalized for being female and poor.

MisterMean
MisterMean

@everlastingphelps I miss read your statement-sorry I thought that you could not get it up as opposed as not being able to"afford to."  Prices rising down on Harry Hinds?  Perhaps you have catched some sort of STD?!?!?!?!  That in it's self would explain some of your statement and views.

MisterMean
MisterMean

@everlastingphelps perhaps a sack over your head would help your impotence.  Perhaps a sack for your sex partner too in case yours breaks.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps So exactly how do you guys get from "the state shouldn't pay for it" to "screw you?"


You people really are so narrow minded that the ONLY way you can think to help the poor is to have the government take money by force from people to do it. It's the most damning sort of projection.  You have no faith in charity because you know YOU would never give enough to charity.  The stats back this up -- conservatives give a much higher percentage of their income to charity than liberals.  Romney gave 30%%+ of his income to charity, while Obama gave less than 5%%.

Maybe if you all weren't such stingy, greedy fucks you might be able to think your way out of this "the government has to do everything" mindset.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@SuperfuzzBigmuff They DON'T drop rates for getting a yearly physical.  Getting doctor visits added to your insurance policy does nothing to the major medical portion of your bill.  There should be actuarial information affirming the savings from preventive medicine, but this is NOT reflected in premiums.  As a self employed person, I've shopped the plans and know.  It was $10/mo for the doctor visit (two a year) which most likely costs the insurance company $60/visit. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@SuperfuzzBigmuff And you don't see any connection between that and the unrelenting effort to have the government take over for charity (and specifically doing what they can to run the Catholic church out of the charity medicine business?)

itchyjack
itchyjack

@everlastingphelps @scottindallas Chicken shit statement Phelps, that means very little.  

That being said, it appears to me that you are the one that is getting a little overboard here.  I get your charity argument, but that is 'eh' at best, given that the govt. provides funds to various charities (many over seas) and many church organizations - that are the heart of the 'movement' you appear to get behind - and I'm down with that, but really?  Are the churches/charities ready to oversee the pregnancy testing, STD testing, birth control counseling, etc. that PP does - on the scale of thousands/millions? - No.  Are those church/charity organizations really going to provide health-specific related counseling, and not provide a 'bible interpretation' to those in need? - No.

The govt. should provide some funds to PP - because it is an extremely viable health care option.  It provides so many important services.  Just because you may not have taken advantage of them, it should not be a reason to condemn them.  PP provides many beneficial services that are the heart of 'charity' and social benefit/health.  PP is awesome for low-, middle-, and (god-forbid) upper-class women and men - if the circumstances are right.  Much better than any family, emergency or other medical providers as time, money and insurance allows.  Our govt. should provide some money for them, just like any church, military, law enforcement or 'charity' organization.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps the doctors took money from you to get their schooling.  You're not arguing the actual medical field, but a figment of your imagination. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

here is the defense offered to the "just suffer": the state shouldn't use its resources for the social good, it is up to individuals. And oh, we callous right wingers give more than others, so there!

of course, that logic fails when one looks at how throughout history private organizations never have shown the ability to adequately care for the needy. Add to that the limitations those private orgs placed on on thoise needing that care (see the above article for a recent example), and it is clear the vast majority of those who need help would not get what they need without a state provided social net.

so yes, clearly the position phelps and the fellow travelers on the right takes is: if you are poor and need medical help, screw you. unless you are one of us, then maybe one of our charities will help you if you agree to follow our creed.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @SuperfuzzBigmuff Phelps, you're being overly doctrinaire and totally anachronistic.  There is not a single "private" medical school.  Major healthcare is a utility, not a free market. 

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