POSTED: Monday, April 30, 2012 - 2:29pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 30, 2012 - 4:07pm
TEXAS — A district judge in Austin has ordered Texas to temporarily stop its enforcement of a rule that would have removed 49 Planned Parenthood clinics from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program starting May 1.
In a 25-page opinion, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the Planned Parenthood organizations that filed the lawsuit proved there could be irreparable harm to their clinics that rely on Women’s Health Program funding to help uninsured Texans access cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing. Yeakel also expressed doubt that the state could find enough providers by Tuesday to replace the Planned Parenthood clinics with other health providers.
“The record demonstrates that plaintiffs currently provide a critical component of Texas' family-planning services to low-income women," Yeakel wrote. "The court is unconvinced that Texas will be able to find substitute providers for these women in the immediate future, despite its stated intention to do so."