After a Houston-based Planned Parenthood abortion clinic was caught selling aborted baby body parts, state investigators conducted a raid today on multiple Planned Parenthood abortion clinics across the state.
Texas officials raided several Planned Parenthood facilities today in an unprecedented move that follows on the heels of pro-life Governor Greg Abbott announcing earlier in the week that the state would further de-fund the abortion business. Abbott said this week “the gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed,” but so far the state has released no evidence of illegal activity by the group.
The raids were carried out at Planned Parenthood abortion centers in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio by representatives from the Texas Office of the Inspector General and the state served subpoenas on five total Planned Parenthood centers. The Houston Chronicle has more:
Officials with the inspector general’s office at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission went to two facilities in Houston as well as clinics in Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville. The Brownsville center does not perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood was given 30 days to respond to the move; a legal challenge is likely.
On Thursday, Planned Parenthood officials decried the subpoenas as politically-motivated, saying officials were “looking for an excuse to take health care away from thousands of women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood for preventive care.”
“The investigators were seeking hundreds of pages of information, from patient records to employee home addresses, involving 10 Planned Parenthood facilities across the state” the Austin newspaper reported. “Officials would not confirm details of the investigation, but the sources said it’s related to suspicions of misspent Medicaid money.”
Three state health investigators entering the Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio on Thursday morning declined to answer questions, referring inquiries to officials in Austin, and spent about two hours inside.
A spokesman for the Health and Human Services Commission also said that he could not comment on “any oversight activities” by the Office of Inspector General, the agency’s investigative arm.
Former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director Abby Johnson applauded the raids in an email to LifeNews.com.
“It is long past time that inspectors, not just in Texas but across the country, step foot inside Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation,” she said. “Kermit Gosnell was able to operate his ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia, where babies and women were left to die after botched abortions, because regulators and health inspectors turned a blind eye. I am thankful for the leadership of Governor Abbott and his team who have worked to protect women and babies, and support true healthcare options.”
“Several years ago, we successfully defunded Planned Parenthood of $29 of their $31 million dollars in Texas. This week, the final $2 million in Medicaid funding has been canceled,” said Johnson. “Thanks to a significant amount of evidence that our state has against Planned Parenthood, particularly by former Planned Parenthood employees, I believe we will win this battle in court.”
The following points were made by the Office of the Inspector General in Texas as reasons for the Medicaid program’s dismissal:
That Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.
The termination of all Planned Parenthood affiliates will not affect access to care because there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas including federally qualified health centers, Medicaid-certified rural health clinics, and other health care providers across the state that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program and Medicaid.
The State of Texas requests cooperation in informing all clients and potential clients of alternatives where they can obtain Medicaid services from providers in good standing with the State.
Three separate Medicaid fraud lawsuits have also been brought forward by former employees of Planned Parenthood in Texas. For example, in 2013, Planned Parenthood paid out $4.3 million in a settlement after having been found by the U.S. Department of Justice to have been overbilling the Texas Medicaid program.
“Women don’t need Planned Parenthood. The idea that women will lose access to healthcare services if Planned Parenthood is defunded is preposterous,” Abby Johnson continued. “In Texas, there are 35 Planned Parenthood facilities, which only offer extremely limited gynecological care, compared to almost 5000 health care clinics in the Texas Women’s Health Program that provide comprehensive care for women, and their children.”