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The problem: politicians who put politics ahead of patient health

Once again, politicians in Texas are putting politics ahead of the health and well-being of the people they’re meant to serve. If they cared about Texans, they wouldn’t have gone to court to force hospitals to deny patients emergency abortion care (which is required by the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act). And if they cared about Texans, they also wouldn’t do everything in their power to attack Planned Parenthood.

Their strategy: a baseless billion dollar lawsuit

Right now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are so determined to shut down Planned Parenthood that they are backing an anti-abortion radical who brought a baseless $1.8 BILLION lawsuit against Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates. 

They don’t care about the millions of Texans who need high-quality, affordable health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, and more. They care about control. 

The timeline: over a decade of attacks

2011: Texas slashes funding to the state’s family planning program and starts a new plan that blocks providers like Planned Parenthood from the small amount of funding that remained.

2012: Texas tries to exclude Planned Parenthood from the state’s federally funded family planning expansion program — but the Obama administration refuses to approve this exclusion.

2013: Texas gets rid of the 2012 expansion program for the sole purpose of excluding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

2015: Texas announces plans to terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts.
Separately, Gov. Abbott passes a budget that banned Planned Parenthood from the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program.

2017: A federal court issues a preliminary injunction blocking the Medicaid termination, finding that Texas did not have “a scintilla of evidence" for the termination. The court rules that Medicaid must continue to cover care that Planned Parenthood health centers provide for Medicaid patients. 

Based on this clear ruling from a federal court, Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas are able to continue to provide health care to the patients who rely on them.

2020: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit doesn’t overrule the district court’s finding that Texas had no evidence to support kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid, but instead rules on procedural grounds that patients and providers were not allowed to sue to challenge Texas’s actions. 

The Fifth Circuit therefore allows the state to terminate the Texas Planned Parenthood providers from Medicaid, and Texas does so following the ruling.

Feb. 2021: An anonymous anti-abortion radical, who is later joined by the state of Texas, files a baseless lawsuit against three Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The plaintiffs sue Planned Parenthood for getting Medicaid reimbursements between 2017 and 2020 — even though the 2017 federal court ruling was clear that Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates could remain Medicaid providers during this time. The plaintiffs demand $1.8 billion in damages.

Sept. 2021: Texas’s S.B. 8 takes effect, banning abortion around six weeks of pregnancy and empowering private citizens to enforce the law by suing anyone — providers, friends, family members — who helps a patient get an abortion in Texas.

June 2022: Roe v. Wade is overturned. Abortion in Texas is quickly banned in full (with three overlapping abortion bans).

2023 — Now: The baseless lawsuit from an anonymous anti-abortion radical and backed by Texas politicians is now in the hands of the courts — a federal judge has ordered a trial in this case.

If Planned Parenthood is ordered to pay the $1.8 billion, the people of Texas would face an even more devastating reality: Planned Parenthood health centers could be forced to shut down.

The truth: everyone deserves access to reproductive health care

Millions of people rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for care across the U.S. — especially women, people with low incomes, as well as Black, Latino, and other communities that already face barriers to getting health care. Everyone deserves to get the care they need. 

The sheer number of attacks can feel  overwhelming — but the Action Fund, and 19 million Planned Parenthood supporters will never back down. We can’t let Gov. Greg Abbott and others involved in this lawsuit strip patients of affordable care. We must protect patients’ health and safety. 

Add your name to say you're with Planned Parenthood in this fight!

Tags: Access to Health Care, Abortion Access

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