Judge: Health rul­ing Mon­day

Planned Par­ent­hood seeks to re­main in state health pro­gram.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - By Chuck Lin­dell clin­dell@states­man.com Health B

A judge will de­cide Mon­day whether to grant Planned Par­ent­hood’s re­quest for a re­strain­ing or­der bar­ring Texas from kick­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion out of the Women’s Health Pro­gram.

Af­ter a 90-minute hear­ing Fri­day in Travis County district court, vis­it­ing Judge Gary Harger said he needed the week­end to re­search is­sues raised by Planned Par­ent­hood and lawyers for state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Greg Ab­bott.

Texas of­fi­cials have spent al­most all of 2012 try­ing to re­move Planned Par­ent­hood from the pro­gram, which pro­vides con­tra­cep­tives and pre­ven­tive health care such as can­cer screen­ings to about 115,000 low-in­come women each year.

Gov. Rick Perry and other Repub­li­can lead­ers ob­ject to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ad­vo­cacy for abor­tion rights. Planned Par­ent­hood also is the na­tion’s lead­ing provider of abor­tions, though none of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s clin­ics that par­tic­i­pate in the Women’s Health Pro­gram of­fer the pro­ce­dure.

To date, mul­ti­ple law­suits from Planned Par­ent­hood have al­lowed the or­ga­ni­za­tion to re­main in the pro­gram.

The lat­est law­suit, filed two weeks ago, seeks a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der re­quir­ing Planned Par­ent­hood to con­tinue in the pro­gram when Texas launches a state-run, state-fi­nanced Women’s Health Pro­gram on Jan. 1, re­plac­ing a 6-year-old pro­gram that re­ceived 90 per­cent of its money from the fed­eral government.

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