A request from Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinic operators from getting federal funds for family planning could set a precedent for other states seeking to defund the controversial organization, The Hill reports.
"This would have implications nationwide if this gets approved," Jennifer Popik with National Right to Life told The Hill. "For an administration with a pro-life focus, this is something they could do to divert funding from Planned Parenthood."
Texas has asked the Trump administration to reverse course on an Obama-era blocking of $35 million a year from the state over its refusal to fund Planned Parenthood. Pro-life groups hope to see Texas succeed — and to get a domino effect in other states.
President Donald Trump, as a candidate, indicated he is open to defunding the organization, and Republicans in the U.S. Senate have included just such a measure in their current version of the healthcare bill to replace Obamacare.
When the Obama White House pulled Texas' funding, the state created its own program, Healthy Texas Women, but now is asking the current administration to resupply the federal dollars.
If the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the Texas waiver, "it would open the floodgates for this to be implemented in other states,"said Kinsey Hasstedt, at the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.
"It would offer a stamp of approval to violate decades-old Medicaid policy and federal law, which prohibits excluding Medicaid providers from these programs," Hasstedt said. "It would be a huge shift in how Medicaid is run."
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