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Planned Parenthood Awaits Texas Funding Cutoff

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In the ongoing battle over whether Texas’ Women’s Health Care patients can access care through Planned Parenthood providers—the latest round goes to the state.  But, the legal challenges are far from over.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans late Tuesday reversed a federal judge’s temporary injunction that was allowing the funding to continue pending an October trial on Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the law.

“Regardless of what the court says, regardless of the politics, Planned Parenthood is here for Texas women,” says Kelly Hart, Planned Parenthood’s Dallas based Director of Public Affairs.  “We’re still seeing Women’s Health Care patients and we’re not going to be asking them to make a payment at this time.”

Hart says the organization is still reviewing the ruling and discussing their options, but stress that patients and potential patients should not delay making those lifesaving appointments.

State officials are seeking to halt money to Planned Parenthood clinics that provide family planning and health services as part of the state’s Women’s Health Program because the Republican controlled Texas Legislature last year passed a law banning funds to organizations affiliated with abortion providers.

The appeals court’s decision means Texas is now free to impose the ban.  Gov. Rick Perry released a statement calling the ruling a “win for Texas women, our rule of law and our state’s priority to protect life.”

Many women we spoke to today, however, were offended that the controversial and bitter social divide over abortion, is now spilling over into efforts to provide critical screenings for women who already face limited access to care.

“Of course, they (poor women) should have the right to choose their doctors, most definitely,” says Geenah Jivani.  The North Texas mother of a 10-month-old says women, too often, put themselves last and fail to access necessary care.  Jivani says rather than fighting to impose limits on poor women, state leaders should be working to provide greater access to screenings that could catch diseases early.  “Instead of dealing with it after it’s already occurred, whether it’s too late or something has gone undetected for too long, so definitely preventive measures are most important, to me.”

Planned Parenthood provides services like cancer screenings—but not abortions—to about half of the 130,000 low-income Texas women enrolled in the program, which is designed to provide services to women who might not otherwise qualify for Medicaid.

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