A federal appeals court judge has lifted a lower court order that forced Texas to continue funding abortion providers through a state women’s health program.
The ruling Tuesday by Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry E. Smith clears the way for the state to enforce a new law that bans the use of taxpayer money to fund Planned Parenthood and its affiliate clinics, the Houston Chronicle
Planned Parenthood, which filed a federal lawsuit in April challenging the constitutionality of the statute, said it will continue providing health services to low-income women — even though it cannot charge the state for those services — while it fights Smith’s ruling.
Smith’s decision overturned an order issued by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel a day earlier that forced the state to continue funding abortion providers through the Texas Women’s Health Program until he makes a final ruling on Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit.
The state appealed Yeakel’s order, arguing that it would immediately have to shut down the entire women’s health program, which serves 130,000 annually, because of the new law banning abortion providers from participating in it.
The federal government began phasing out $13.5 million in Medicaid funding for the women’s program after the law was passed. But Texas Gov. Rick Perry has vowed to continue the program without federal assistance.
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