Judge: Health ruling Monday
Planned Parenthood seeks to remain in state health program.
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.