Federal Appeals Court Allows Texas to Block Women's Access to Health Care
Planned Parenthood: "We are here for Texas women."
Statement from Melaney A. Linton, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc.
Houston, TX -- A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court allowed the state of Texas to block women's access to basic, preventive health care despite the desperate need of thousands of uninsured Texan women.
Following is a statement from Melaney A. Linton, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
"It is shocking that once again it appears that politics is getting in the way of women receiving access to basic health care. Today's ruling allows the state to deny low-income, uninsured Texas women health care from their trusted provider-Planned Parenthood.
"Governor Perry has already thrown 160,000 women off of health care for partisan political reasons -- now there will be more to come. The state's ongoing efforts jeopardize the health of tens of thousands of Texas women.
"This case has never been about Planned Parenthood -- it's about the women who rely on us for basic health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and annual exams. We are here for Texas women.
"For more than 75 years, women and families in Texas have trusted Planned Parenthood for high-quality, affordable health care and information. We won't let politics interfere with the health care that more than 16,000 women and families in Houston and Southeast Texas, and nearly 50,000 women and families across Texas rely on Planned Parenthood to stay healthy."
PPGC is being represented by attorneys with the Texas firm of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
FACT: A May 2012 Research Brief from the George Washington University found Texas's unconstitutional affiliation rule jeopardizes access to health care for nearly 52,000 low- income women.
FACT: The George Washington University report authors conclude community health centers would have to grow their Women's Health Program participation 12-fold -- from fewer than 4,000 WHP patients to nearly 56,000 -- to offset the loss of Planned Parenthood from the program.
FACT: In issuing the injunction, US District Court Judge Lee Yeakel expressed concern about the impact the rule would have for low-income Texas women in need of access to Women's Health Program services, which includes lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, and sexual health education and information. "[Planned Parnthood] currently provide a critical component of Texas' family-planning services to low-income women," Judge Yeakel wrote. "The court is unconvinced that Texas will be able to find substitute providers for these women in the immediate future."
FACT: Currently more than one-quarter of Texan women are uninsured, and women in Texas face one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the U.S.
FACT: Women's Health Program funds are prohibited by law from paying for abortions.
FACT: Planned Parenthood health centers that participate in the Women's Health Program are legally and financially separate from Planned Parenthood health centers that provide safe and legal abortions.
FACT: The Texas rule to exclude Planned Parenthood from WHP comes after budget cuts passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Perry last year have dramatically reduced the state's family planning program by more than two-thirds. These cuts are projected to take health care away from 160,000 women per year.