State Says Lawsuit Could End Women’s Health Program
Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell told a federal judge yesterday that the state would have to end its Women’s Health Program if Planned Parenthood wins a lawsuit to continue its participation in the program.
In an affidavit obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, the executive director of Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission Tom Suehs said that if Planned Parenthood were granted an injunction, “State law will require the commission to cease operating the program upon termination of federal funding and the commission will not introduce a similar successor program unless otherwise directed by the Legislature.”
State Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston said he and fellow Texas Democrats are looking at ways to continue to provide women’s health services without involving the state. He said the threat of shutting down the program is political posturing.
“The goal of Rick Perry et al. is to deny the ability for certain providers to provide services with their tax money,” Coleman said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
A U.S. District Court is scheduled to rule on Planned Parenthood’s preliminary injunction April 30.