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Judge OKs Planned Parenthood's Removal From Women's Health Program (Update)

Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Update: Here's a statement from Gov. Rick Perry: 

“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. I applaud all those who stand ready to help these women live healthy lives without sending taxpayer money to abortion providers and their affiliates.”

Original post: A judge has ruled against granting Planned Parenthood a temporary restraining order that would prevent it from being kicked out of the state’s new Women’s Health Program.

Texas officials plan to launch a new program on Jan. 1 that will provide family planning services, well-woman exams and more, but will exclude clinics affiliated with abortion providers – mainly Planned Parenthood, which historically has provided over approximately half the services in the program.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuitsaying the ban violates state law. The group had asked a judge to stop the state from excluding its health clinics until a full trial can be held.

That lawsuit will still go forward, but the state’s new Women’s Health Program will begin tomorrow – without Planned Parenthood.

“Regardless of what happens in the courts, Planned Parenthood will be here for our patients,” Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’s Ken S. Lambrecht says in a statement. “Our doors remain open today and always to Texas women in need. We only wish Texas politicians shared this commitment to Texas women, their health, and their wellbeing.”

Another hearing on Planned Parenthood’s fate in the health program is scheduled for Jan. 11. That’s when another judge will hear Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction to remain in the Women’s Health Program. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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