Texas can ban Planned Parenthood from health program after court decision

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 7:14am

(CNN) -- Texas won another battle against Planned Parenthood this week.

A federal appeals court, on Thursday, refused to grant another hearing to the organization, a decision that stops the organization's fight against Texas' effort to ban state funding for Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry applauded the decision, by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Today's ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women's Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion. In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice," Perry said.

The decision continues a legal struggle that has been going on for months.

The Texas Women's Health Program provides about 130,000 low-income women with family planning exams, related health screenings and contraception.

Texas opposed government funding for Planned Parenthood clinics because the organization provides abortions.

The state said in March that it was willing to give up funding from Washington and run the Women's Health Program itself.

It then adopted a rule that required clinics funded by the program to certify they do not perform abortions or are not affiliates of entities that perform abortions.

In a letter to Texas officials in March, Medicaid Director Cindy Mann said the state's decision was regrettable. It would, she said, "prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied on for their care."

Planned Parenthood sued Texas, winning an injunction against the law by arguing that abortion is constitutional and Texas' efforts would block women's access to preventive health care. But a federal court later ruled in favor of Texas.

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