Texas OKs Ban on Planned Parenthood Funding Over Abortion

A Texas judge ruled Monday that the state can cut funding to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services, pending a full hearing on the matter next week.

Judge Gary Harger ruled that the Texas ban on state funds for abortion can go into effect Tuesday. Planned Parenthood had sought a temporary restraining order against the ban before the January 11 hearing before U.S. District Judge Stephen Yelenosky, but their request was denied.

"I have denied the request for a temporary restraining order at this time," Judge Harger. "I did not find that there would be an irreparable harm in waiting nine days for the injunction hearing."

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Planned Parenthood provides preventive care to around 50,000 women in the state but also provides abortions at some of its 28 clinics in Central and North Texas.

"We are pleased the court rejected Planned Parenthood's latest attempt to skirt state law," Texas Attorney General spokeswoman Lauren Bean said. "The Texas Attorney General's office will continue to defend the Texas Legislature's decision to prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving taxpayer dollars through the Women's Health Program."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also applauded the ruling to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

"Today's ruling finally clears the way for thousands of low-income Texas women to access much-needed care, while at the same time respecting the values and laws of our state," said Perry. "I applaud all those who stand ready to help these women live healthy lives without sending taxpayer money to abortion providers and their affiliates."

Ken S. Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said the doors of the clinics will remain open Tuesday to service women. The organization has brought three lawsuits in seeking an injunction against the Texas law prohibiting funds from Women's Health Program to go to abortion providers.

"It is shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women," Lambrecht said of the ruling.

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