Texas loses rul­ing on women’s care

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - States­man.com/go/mul­ti­me­dia. RODOLFO GON­ZA­LEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN Health B

de­part­ment guide­lines.

U.S. District Judge Wal­ter Smith’s rul­ing won’t af­fect the state’s de­ci­sion to move for­ward next year with an en­tirely state-funded pro­gram, even though the state was also seek­ing to keep its fed­eral fund­ing, said Stephanie Good­man, a spokes­woman for the Texas Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Com­mis­sion. But Planned Par­ent­hood, which serves more than 40 per­cent of the low-in­come women in Texas’ pro­gram, ques­tioned whether the state’s ef­forts would be ef­fec­tive with­out fed­eral fund­ing or its clin­ics.

State law­mak­ers have banned any clinic af­fil­i­ated with abor­tion providers from tak­ing part in the Women’s Health Pro­gram, which cov­ers can­cer screen­ings and other ser­vices for an es­ti­mated 130,000 low-in­come women. In re­sponse, fed­eral au­thor­i­ties an­nounced they would cut off fund­ing, which pays for 90 per­cent of the fam­ily plan­ning costs and half of the ad­min­is­tra­tive costs.

Smith de­nied a state re­quest for a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion to force U.S. Sec­re­tary of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Kath­leen Se­be­lius to keep the fund­ing in place. With­out an in­junc­tion, fed­eral fund­ing is ex­pected to ex­pire Dec. 31.

Texas of­fi­cials say they have cre­ated an en­tirely state­funded pro­gram, and start­ing Jan. 1, it will pro­vide the same ser­vices but ex­clude Planned Par­ent­hood, Good­man said. The pro­gram is es­ti­mated to cost $40 mil­lion a year.

Matt Nay­lor of Austin makes mu­sic dur­ing the an­nual Tuba Christ­mas per­for­mance held on the south steps of the state Capi­tol in Austin on Fri­day. See more pho­tos from Merry Tuba Christ­mas Austin on­line at

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