After losing its first lawsuit last week in its attempt to force Texas taxpayer to fund it, the Planned Parenthood abortion business has filed a second lawsuit.
The new lawsuit heads to state courts after Planned Parenthood’s federal lawsuit failed. Last week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to grant an additional hearing to Planned Parenthood regarding Texas’ legislation to end taxpayer funding of abortion companies.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry applauded the decision, saying, “Today’s ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women’s Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion. In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice.”
Reuters has more information on the new lawsuit: “The new lawsuit tries a different legal tactic, filing in state rather than federal court, and arguing that the way the Texas rule is written violates state law. The latest lawsuit in Texas claims the ban is invalid under a section of state law which makes any provision inoperative if it causes Texas to lose federal matching funds for the Women’s Health Program.”
About the new lawsuit, Perry said Planned Parenthood is now turning to Travis County judges “in a desperate effort to find some way to keep making money off Texas taxpayers.”
“In Texas, we’ve chosen to protect innocent life,” Perry said. “We will keep fighting for life, and we will ultimately prevail.”
Last year the Texas state legislature defunded abortion providers including Planned Parenthood of state-controlled family planning funding. In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission rejecting Texas’ law by turning down the state’s request to run their own family planning program. In March 2012, HHS officially stopped $30 million in federal funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because they excluded Planned Parenthood. Governor Perry pledged to fully fund the program using state dollars.
In August 2012, the Fifth Circuit court overturned the April 2012 ruling of a Texas judge who granted a preliminary injunction to Planned Parenthood affiliates while they sued the state of Texas over the law. Previously, Texas Governor Rick Perry pointed out that Planned Parenthood clinics represent less than two percent of the more than 2,500 enrolled providers.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against Texas contending that the new law prohibiting it from participating in the Women’s Health Program is unconstitutional discrimination. The lawsuit asked the court for an injunction to stop enforcement of the rules preventing Planned Parenthood from getting taxpayer funding via the program , saying the rules violate their rights by putting an “unconstitutional condition on their participation” in the Women’s Health Program.
However, state officials quickly appealed the ruling — with Attorney General Greg Abbott filing an emergency motion for stay in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Jerry E. Smith granted the stay “pending further order of this court.”
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
In response, President Obama withdrew all federal support for the program, and Planned Parenthood sued the state of Texas. Judge Lee Yeakel blocked the law from going into effect, yet Yeakel’s ruling was appealed by Attorney General Greg Abbott, and the Fifth Circuit Court removed the block.
In addition to these approximately 4,000 agencies, Governor Perry’s office has identified another 2,500 eligible providers with 4,600 locations across the state. Planned Parenthood runs 69 facilities.
Before the lawsuit, the Obama Administration cut off the Women’s Health Care Program (WHP) for over 100,000 Texas women at over 2,400 providers for the sake of Planned Parenthood, which provides only limited health service at 44 facilities in Texas. In response, Governor Rick Perry and state lawmakers found their own funding for it.