By Dave Andrusko
At the eleventh hour, another judge rescued Planned Parenthood yet again.
Late Wednesday night, Travis County Judge Maya Guerra Gambala granted three Planned Parenthood affiliates operating in Texas a temporary restraining order blocking the state from removing Planned Parenthood from the state’s list of eligible Medicaid providers. Judge Gambala set a hearing for February 17 to determine “whether a temporary injunction should be issued to keep Planned Parenthood in Medicaid,” Chuck Lindell reported.
Planned Parenthood argued “that Texas failed to issue a ‘proper termination notice” under state law governing which providers are covered by Medicaid,” according to The Hill’s John Bowden [https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/537467-judge-blocks-texass-efforts-to-remove-planned-parenthood-from].
“Texas officials, however, have argued that Planned Parenthood’s attack on the Jan. 4 notice of termination was misguided because a notice sent in January 2016 — kicking off years of litigation — complied with all necessary state laws and Medicaid regulations,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.
NRL News Today has reported on the battle between Texas state officials and Planned Parenthood going back to 2016.
Planned Parenthood was notified of the final decision to terminate contracts in December of that year, more than a year after Texas officials first moved to remove Planned Parenthood from all Medicaid programs. The following month, after three days of testimony and arguments in the U.S. District Court in Austin, Judge Sam Sparks, a reliable Planned Parenthood ally, issued the initial injunction.
“Texas appealed, leading ultimately to a December ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that backed Texas in the Medicaid fight,” Texas Right to Life explained.
A win for the state would have enormous implications. As Townhall’s Karen Townsend wrote Wednesday, “Houston has the largest Planned Parenthood abortion center in the United States. Planned Parenthood facilities in Texas receive about $3.1 million in taxpayer funding from Medicaid annually. An estimated 8,000 Texans use its facilities every year in the state.”