Judge Denies Planned Parenthood's Request to Let Them Back in Texas Women's Health Program

Let's do this quickly, so you can incorporate it into all the sorrows you're about drown after you leave work today. A state judge has denied Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary injunction that would have allowed them to rejoin the Texas Women's Health Program.

According to Mary Tuma, a reporter with the American Independent who's been live-tweeting the hearing in Austin today, state District Judge Stephen Yelenosky denied the injunction request in part because he said Planned Parenthood would likely lose their case at trial. But he also found that "injury is probable" to Planned Parenthood's patients, meaning they could likely lose access to healthcare.

The case being heard today was filed on behalf of both Planned Parenthood and a woman named Marcy Balquinta, a WHP patient. Their attorneys argued that under state law, Texas doesn't have the power to exclude PP from the new, state-funded Women's Health Program.

In response to questions from Planned Parenthood attorneys, a Health and Human Services Commission official admitted in his testimony that "it's a possibility" that fewer women would be served with Planned Parenthood out of the WHP.

Dr. Kyle Janek, the commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services, issued a statement on the ruling. "This allows us to continue to provide important family planning and preventive care to low-income women and fully enforce state law," it reads. "We've got the Texas Women's Health Program up and running, and we'll continue to provide help to any woman who needs to find a new doctor or clinic."

Planned Parenthood also quickly issued a press release reacting to the ruling. It reads, in part, "While today's request was denied, Planned Parenthood is confident in the merits of its case and hopes the Texas courts will ultimately rule on the side of Balquinta and the 110,000 women who rely on the program for basic, preventive health care."

According to the Texas Tribune, an attorney for Planned Parenthood, Pete Schenkkan, says the nonprofit will consider taking its case to trial.

You'll notice that we've rolled out a fancy new logo for these types of reproductive healthcare stories. Unfortunately, it looks like we're really going to need it.

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Anna Merlan
Contact: Anna Merlan

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