Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Texas can’t cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin issued an injunction after he delayed making a decision back in January.
The upshot? Sparks has given Planned Parenthood one more month to receive reimbursements from the state’s Medicaid program. A month may not seem like a lot, but it is This means another month of funding birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at the state’s 30 clinics.
The defunding attempt arrived after secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists back in 2015.Sparks explained his reasoning in a statement:
“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program. Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”
As for the 2015 videos, so far no criminal charges have been made, considering the videos were heavily edited–and as of now, no wrongdoing has been found, according to Associated Press. Texas is the sixth state, after Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services, after legislators have tried to “defund” the organization.
None of this state-level football playing with Planned Parenthood funding stops President Donald Trump from trying to do the same thing federally. Planned Parenthood’s federal funding being cut means about 400,000 women would lose access to health care (like cancer screenings and pap smears), according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Sparks firmly believes that it would be difficult for these women to find similar health care.
Let’s also not forget that last month, Trump banned U.S. funding to international groups that perform abortions or even provide information about abortions. Basically, we need all the help we can get right now from politicians who believe in a woman’s right to choose.