Texas is moving to cut off Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding, despite a recent federal order that forbids states from doing just that.
Greg Abbot and state officials first began their pursuit to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood past year when controversial undercover videos emerged in which it appears the organization's officials discussed "harvesting" fetal tissue from abortion procedures.
"With this action, the state is doubling down on reckless policies that have been absolutely devastating for women", said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a release to Revelist.
The state's final notice of termination to Planned Parenthood, dated December 20, states that the video shows a number of violations "of generally accepted standards of medical practice" and that "Planned Parenthood violated state and federal law".
Planned Parenthood strongly denied the allegations and no wrongdoing was proved, but the group announced in October that it will no longer accept reimbursement for the costs involved in providing fetal tissue to researchers.
According to the letter, Planned Parenthood's "misconduct is directly related to whether you are qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner". "These practices violate accepted medical standards. and are Medicaid program violations that justify termination", according to the letter from Inspector General Stuart Bowen, Jr.
Planned Parenthood has 15 days to file an administrative appeal.
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Planned Parenthood Texas has already seen a massive increase in donations since President-elect Donald Trump was voted into office in November; not only online donations but also volunteer sign-ups have increased 10 times.
The funding is likely to end in about a month, although Planned Parenthood officials plan to seek a preliminary injunction to fight this.
The same justification was stated in a letter Tuesday that gave the organization final notice of removal from the Medicaid program.
Ken Lambrecht, CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater Texas, said the abortion provider will continue to serve low-income patients. Texas' final notice to Planned Parenthood comes at a time when the 100-year-old organization is simultaneously fighting to stop Congress from also cutting off taxpayer dollars.
The OIG said that the undercover video taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston "reveals numerous violations of generally accepted standards of medical practice". The organization is a leading provider of family planning services, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer.
But there has been no evidence so far that Planned Parenthood "harvests" fetal tissue in Texas or that it engaged in wrongdoing, as claimed by anti-abortion activists.
Federal judges have previously blocked states attempting to divest Medicaid dollars from the abortion provider. "Texans have made it clear where they stand on this issue with their continued support of pro-life legislators". "This decision is a win-win for Texas".