Texas Planned Parenthoods asked a federal judge on Friday to stop the state from taking away its taxpayer funding, The Hill reports.
In December, the Texas Health and Human Services told the abortion group that it will be kicked out of the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program in 30 days, the Texas Tribune reports. State officials said Planned Parenthood’s potentially illegal sales of aborted babies’ body parts was a key reason for the move.
The abortion chain filed for a preliminary injunction on Friday in Austin as part of its on-going lawsuit against Texas. In the petition, it asked U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to prevent the state from cutting it from the Medicaid program.
Planned Parenthoods in Texas received $4.2 million in taxpayer dollars through Medicaid in 2015, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The abortion group says it provided services to about 11,000 Texans through the program, the AP reports.
In its petition, Planned Parenthood claims it did not do anything illegal involving its handling of aborted baby body parts, and the state’s actions could cause a hardship for low-income women who go to them for health care, according to the report.
“Women and men who are unable to obtain family planning care, or encounter delays in obtaining it, can face devastating consequences, including undetected cancers and diseases,” the petition said. “Delays in obtaining contraception will result in unintended pregnancies, many of which may end in abortion.”
In a statement, pro-life Gov. Greg Abbott’s office previously described the defunding move as a responsible use of tax dollars. It said the health care groups that receive tax dollars should “demonstrate that the health and safety of their patients come before a profit motive that puts women at greater risk.”
In the final notice letter to the Texas abortion group, department Inspector General Stuart Bowen said the undercover videos showed that “Planned Parenthood violated state and federal law.” He said the abortion group showed a “willingness to charge more than the costs incurred for procuring fetal tissue.”
“Your misconduct is directly related to whether you are qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner,” Bowen wrote in the letter. “Your actions violate generally accepted medical standards, as reflected in state and federal law, and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination.”
Several weeks ago, a U.S. Congressional investigation released evidence that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Texas “broke the law when it sold aborted baby remains for profit to the University of Texas.” The U.S. House panel referred the case to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for further review.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee also released its findings and referred several Planned Parenthood affiliates to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Planned Parenthood denies the claims, ABC News reports.
A number of states moved to defund the abortion group after the Center for Medical Progress released its undercover videos showing evidence of possible illegal activity at Planned Parenthoods across the country. However, many of the efforts have been blocked by courts.
In December, President Barack Obama, a close friend of the abortion industry, approved a new Department of Health and Human Services rule that will essentially prohibit states from defunding the abortion business.
However, President-elect Donald Trump promised to sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood as long as it continues to perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood does about 320,000 abortions a year in the U.S., more than any other group, and receives about $550 million in tax dollars nationally. The tax money that Planned Parenthood receives is not supposed to be used for abortions, but a growing list of evidence indicates that it does.