Women Sue To Save Planned Parenthood In Texas

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
planned parenthood protestersplanned parenthood protesters

Planned Parenthood's battle against defunding continues to rage on.

The women’s healthcare provider and a group of women filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on Nov. 23 after the state threatened to stop its Medicaid funding, according to Reuters and ABC News. Planned Parenthood’s funding was jeopardized in several states led by Republican governors after an anti-abortion group released videos that allegedly showed the group selling fetal tissue from abortions. After several investigations into the videos, however, no wrongdoing was found, Mother Jones reported.

"By cancelling Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract, these politicians are telling women where they can and cannot go for reproductive healthcare," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Reuters. "And let’s be clear: That is illegal and it’s a violation of federal law," 

So far, the courts have sided with Planned Parenthood when it comes to defunding issues. When Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama tried to end payments to the organization, federal courts intervened to stop the funding cuts while the legal battle moves through the justice system, ABC News reported.

Though the Texas Attorney General's Office has yet to comment on the lawsuit, when the videos were released, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said: "The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end," according to Reuters.

Planned Parenthood, however, said they don’t profit from fetal tissue donations and that the videos were misleadingly edited. Their claims were backed up by a forensic analysis of the videos, The Huffington Post noted.

Ten anonymous plaintiffs are also involved in the lawsuit, claiming they will lose a part of their healthcare without Planned Parenthood, ABC News reports. One of the plaintiffs is a rape victim who went to Planned Parenthood after other physicians made her uncomfortable, according to Reuters. The planned Medicaid cut would affect some 13,500 Texas women, who could lose their services as soon as Dec. 8.

Sources: Reuters, ABC News, Mother Jones, The Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Neon Tommy/Flickr, Fibonacci Blue/Flickr