Denver Newsroom, Jan 13, 2021 / 16:01 pm
Texas will no longer provide Medicaid funds to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, with the last funds ending in February.
“We are grateful that Texas has finally taken the steps to fully remove abortion providers from all state Medicaid funding,” Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, told CNA Jan. 12. “The legislature has acted responsibly to remove funding from the state budget and the recent actions of (the Texas Health and Human Services Commission) to complete the defunding are welcomed by the Catholic Bishops in Texas.”
“Compared to their previous allocations of state dollars, this final reduction of funding is relatively small,” she said. “It will reduce their ability to use the guise of Medicaid funded contraceptive visits to encourage abortion.”
A majority opinion of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, issued Nov. 23, ruled that abortion providers and their customers could not challenge Texas’ decision to withhold Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood. The state’s determination of “qualified” Medicaid providers is between the state and the provider, the court ruled.
While Medicaid is a federally funded program, its spending can be governed by the states.
Before Planned Parenthood was dropped from funding, the organization served about 40 percent of the women in the program, providing birth control, cancer screenings, and other services. The funds did not go to abortions.
Medicaid clients who currently receive services from providers who also perform abortions need to transition to new providers by Feb. 3.
As the largest abortion provider in the U.S., any funding of Planned Parenthood has drawn critical attention from foes of abortion. But the push for the new Texas rules began in 2015 after undercover investigative videos from David Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress alleged that Planned Parenthood officials and others were unlawfully profiting from the sale of aborted fetal tissue.