Although Planned Parenthood is no stranger to controversy, their 30 health centers in the Texas are likely breathing a collective sigh of relief this week, as are the individuals they serve. A federal judge put a temporary halt to the Medicaid funding termination notice issued to Texas Planned Parenthood, because the state claimed that the organization was unqualified.
Ruling on the Preliminary Injunction
In the ruling on the preliminary injunction, the federal court explained that the state did not present any actual evidence to support their contention that Planned Parenthood is unqualified to perform the services they offer.
This claim of not being qualified was based on unsupported allegations that Planned Parenthood profited from procuring fetal tissue for scientific researchers, as well as more unsupported allegations that abortions procedures were altered to benefit fetal tissue collection for researchers. These claims were the result of activist espionage, which were later determined to be completely false.
Best-Selling Novel, Not a Legal Case
Notably, none of the funding that was threatened, which was all Medicaid funding, could be used for abortion services. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funds cannot be used for abortions unless the health of the mother is at risk, or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
The court lambasted the state's position, and actually stated the following in the ruling:
A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations -- these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program
The court goes on to analogize the state of Texas's effort to oust Planned Parenthood with a "villain plotting to take over the world." Similarly to the case in Utah, which Planned Parenthood also won, Texas had based their funding denial on a video made by activists who were later indicted on criminal charges for making the video.