Friday, May 4, 2012

Planned Parenthood Again Prevails In Suit Against Texas Republican's War on Women

Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith agreed Friday that there's sufficient evidence the state's law banning Planned Parenthood from participating in the state's Women's Health Program is unconstitutional.

Judge Jerry Smith today let stand an injunction issued by District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin on Monday that blocks Texas from enforcing the law championed by Gov. Rick Perry and passed by the Republican dominated Texas legislature in 2011.

Smith had stayed the injunction earlier this week so he could review the law.

The law passed by the Republican-controlled 2011 Legislature forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions sued the state.

Texas officials have said that if the state is forced to include Planned Parenthood, they'll likely totally shutter the program that provides basic health care and contraceptives to 130,000 poor women.

When the Texas Tribune asked Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said: “Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything.”

Family planning clinics are routinely referred to by many Republican lawmakers across the U.S. as “abortion clinics” because many social conservative Republicans say contraceptive use is the same as abortion. On Thursday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his team of state lawyers asked a federal appeals court to block U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel's Monday decision that required the state to continue funding Planned Parenthood. In his request for an emergency stay, Abbott analogized Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization.

Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement:

"This case isn't about Planned Parenthood - it's about the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams.

"Governor Perry has already thrown 160,000 women off of health care for partisan political reasons - now there will be more to come. Mitt Romney would supersize what's happening in Texas and try to block women's access to lifesaving health care nationwide.

"Planned Parenthood's doors are open today and they'll be open tomorrow. We won't let politics interfere with the health care that nearly three million people a year rely on Planned Parenthood for in Texas and around the country."


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