Democracy Now: Order Blocking De-funding of Planned Parenthood is Reversed


A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling by a lower court judge blocking Texas from de-funding Planned Parenthood and excluding it from a government-funded health program for low-income women simply because they also provide abortions. The two separate rulings came within hours of each other on Tuesday. In the initial ruling, Judge Lee Yeakel said the Texas ban is “likely unconstitutional” in barring contracts between the state health commission and entities that are affiliated with abortion providers. The program offers cancer and health screenings as well as birth control services to some 130,000 low-income women, about 40 percent of whom are served through Planned Parenthood. In a statement, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards welcomed the ruling, saying: “For many women, we are the only doctor’s visit they will have this year. This ruling affirms what women have known all along: politics simply doesn’t have a place in women’s health.” But later in the day, Federal Appeals Judge Jerry Smith granted Texas an emergency stay blocking Judge Yeakel’s ruling from taking effect. Judge Smith sided with arguments from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott comparing Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization. Abbott had written: “[The] First Amendment does not prohibit application of federal material-support statute to individuals who give money to ‘humanitarian’ activities performed by terrorist organizations.”

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~ by wheresthemic on May 3, 2012.

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