Planned Parenthood sues Texas

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Planned Parenthood has taken their Texas-sized grievance to court.

The organization filed a lawsuit against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in federal court this week seeking to prevent enforcement of a new rule that excludes their affiliates from participating in the state’s Women’s Health Program.

According to Planned Parenthood, the rule — which bans clinics affiliated with abortion providers from receiving funding — is unconstitutional because “it imposes an unconstitutional condition on [affiliates’] participation in the program and thereby harms the tens of thousands of low-income women who rely on them for basic, preventive health care.”

Their lawsuit further alleged that the rule conflicts with the intent of the law, which created the program.

“This rule impermissibly penalizes Planned Parenthood, and has the effect of restricting Texans’ access to health care,” Pete Schenkkan, an attorney for Planned Parenthood with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, said in a statement. “We are asking the court to ensure Planned Parenthood can continue to provide Women’s Health Program services to these women.”

Planned Parenthood’s challenge comes on the heels of a lawsuit Texas filed in mid-March against the federal government for cutting off federal funding to Texas’ Women’s Health Program due to the state’s decision to eliminate Planned Parenthood from participating in the program.

Unless the lawsuit is successful, under the new rule, on April 30, Planned Parenthood will no longer be able to participate in the program.

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