Judge blocks Texas from throwing Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid program
AUSTIN — A federal judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction blocking Texas from kicking Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program.
Judge Sam Sparks said in his ruling that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) could not take action until after a full trial.
“After reviewing the evidence currently in the record, the Court finds the Inspector General, and thus HHSC, likely acted to disenroll qualified health care providers from Medicaid without cause,” Sparks wrote. “Such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their statutory right to obtain health care from their chosen qualified provider. The deprivation of that right is an irreparable injury in and of itself but could also disrupt the care of the 12,500 Texas Medicaid patients receiving services from Planned Parenthood.”
The ruling continues a long-running saga over the state’s attempt to remove Planned Parenthood.
The effort began in the fall of 2015 in response to a series of edited videos that purported to show the women’s health organization selling the organs of aborted fetuses. The state did not take action until late last year. That was then blocked by Sparks, first for a short amount of time basis, and then again.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that he would appeal the ruling.
“Today’s decision is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency,” Paxton said. “The raw, unedited footage from undercover videos exposed a brazen willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal body parts, as well as manipulate the timing and method of an abortion.”