Texas Loses Federal Women's Health Funding Over Planned Parenthood Cuts

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that a Texas law excluding Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid Women's Health Program violated federal rules, meaning the program would no longer receive any federal funding.

The Texas law, which went into effect this week, prevents patients using the Women's Health Program from going to any clinic that has an affiliation with an abortion provider, including a shared name, employee, or board member.

"We very much regret the state's decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care," wrote Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicare and State Operations. "In light of Texas' actions, CMS is not in a position to extend or renew the current [Medicaid contract]."

Mann also stated that the funding will be removed over the next nine months in order to "minimize any disruption in coverage for women enrolled in the program."

The Women's Health Program was set to receive $29.8 million in federal funding for cancer screening, diabetes testing, and contraceptive services targeted at low-income women.

According to Texas' state budget, $3.3 million in state funds were set aside to supplement the federal funding.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry claims that the state will find a way to finance the program without federal funding. He also accused President Barack Obama of putting abortion providers ahead of women's rights.

"Texans send a substantial amount of our tax dollars to Washington, D.C., and it is unconscionable that the Obama administration has essentially told Texas it will send our tax dollars back to fund this program only if we violate state law and include its pro-abortion allies," Perry said.

Perry has not released a plan for where Texas will find the money, especially after legislators have just finished a hard-fought battle to overcome a several billion dollar shortfall in their last budget.

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