A federal judge has made Texas the sixth state to be prevented from defunding Planned Parenthood’s services to Medicaid patients.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks issued a preliminary injunction to stop Texas from cutting the funding for about 11,000 patients on Medicaid who use Planned Parenthood for HIV and cancer screenings, birth control, and other nonabortion services, The Associated Press reported.
The injunction bars Texas from cutting the funding until the case can go to trial next month.
Judge Sparks wrote in his ruling that the state didn’t have evidence to prove that Planned Parenthood violated any medical or ethical standards.
“Such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their statutory right to obtain health care from their chosen qualified provider,” the George W. Bush-appointed judge wrote, Reuters reported.
Attorneys for the state had argued that videos recorded secretly by the Center for Medical Progress were grounds for defunding. The videos showed Planned Parenthood representatives allegedly negotiating to sell fetal body parts after abortions were performed, but a jury cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing in 2016 in regard to the videos.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to appeal the ruling.
“No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct,” Paxton said, CNN reported.
Congressional Republicans are attempting to strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Republicans have long wanted to defund Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services, even though federal law prohibits it from using any government funds for abortions.
Reuters reported about $3 million in Medicaid funds in Texas went to Planned Parenthood for services at about 30 clinics.
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