Texas Provision Ensures Planned Parenthood Denied Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 3, 2011   |   3:54PM   |   Austin, TX

Pro-life legislators in Texas approved a provision in a bill concerning women’s health to ensure the measure does not allow state taxpayer funds to go to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The Senate Health and Human Services committee approved the measure to fund health programs for poor women on a 5-1 vote and the bill now includes a provision sponsored by Sen. Bob Deuell, a Greenville Republican, making it so none of the funds authorized under the program would be available for any groups that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion business in the nation.

Other states are working towards de-funding Planned Parenthood, including Indiana, which approved legislation to do so there. However, the abortion giant has said it will file a lawsuit against the legislation immediately after Governor Mitch Daniels signs the bill into law.

To combat the threat of a lawsuit, Deuell’s provision makes it so the entire Demonstration Project for Women’s Health Care Services health program is shut down if an abortion business files and wins a lawsuit against the provision preventing funding.

“The legislature has clearly tried to cut off funding for these entities, only to have it restored by lawsuit,” Deuell told AP in an interview. “We do not want this to happen again … if abortion providers are able to sue and win — they have to win the suit — the program will cease to operate.”

“We tried to find other ways to do it and just could not,” Deuell says.

But Sen. Jose Rodriguez, an El Paso Democrat, complained about the provision and blamed Republicans for threatening women’s health, even though the provision does nothing to cut or reduce funds for the women’s health program.

“I support the women’s health program,” Rodriguez said, adding that the provision “cuts out funding for an organization that I think has a track record and a history of providing services without complaints … and if there is a successful lawsuit, the bill carries the risk the program will cease entirely.”

Meanwhile, Peter J. Durkin, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, told AP the provision will not stop the abortion business from filing a lawsuit against the de-funding provision.

“By banning Planned Parenthood from providing health care to more than 40,000 Texas women through the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, this Senate bill shreds the health care safety net that saves lives and dollars,” he claimed, without mentioning the lives taken or women injured by abortions. “Planned Parenthood is prepared to move forward with a lawsuit if that’s what it takes.”

In a ruling this February, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said existing law prohibits the Health and Human Services Commission from contracting with “affiliates” of clinics that provide elective abortion services.

The House-passed bill now heads to the full state Senate. Contact your state senators at https://www.senate.state.tx.us