On Oct. 19, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas announced that the state would be eliminating taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood over concerns relating to the organization’s use of fetal tissue.
The office of Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement on the defunding, saying that the state would be eliminating Medicaid’s participation with the women’s health organization, NBC News reports.
“Following the release of gruesome videos filmed at Planned Parenthood facilities, including Gulf Coast in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative to provide greater protections for children in the womb and prevent the sale of baby body parts,” Abbott's office said in the Oct. 19 statement.
The funding cancelation “calls for funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers out of taxpayer money to be eliminated completely, both at the State and local levels.”
According to Abbott, eliminating Planned Parenthood funding in Texas brings the state closer to “providing greater access to safe healthcare for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”
Planned Parenthood was the center of controversy following the release of videos from anti-abortion activists that appeared to show staff admitting to profiting from fetal tissue donations.
The video, according to Planned Parenthood officials, was highly edited. A forensic analysis confirmed that the footage was manipulated. In addition, state investigations into the organization turned up no wrongdoing, The Huffington Post reported in August.
The organization responded to Texas’ announcement in a statement, vowing to fight the decision.
“It is completely outrageous that Texas officials are using these thoroughly discredited, fraudulent videos to cut women off from preventive health care, including cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control,” Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens said in a statement to the Associated Press.
“We will fight back against this outrageous, malicious, political attack in Texas with everything we've got, and we will protect women's access to the health care they need and deserve," she added.