As part of a yearslong coordinated attack on sexual and reproductive health care, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are using baseless claims to seek $1.8 billion in damages from Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas.
Here are the facts.
False Claims and a Big Demand
In federal court, the state of Texas and an anonymous plaintiff have filed a suit that makes a series of false claims against three Planned Parenthood Texas affiliates and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The state seeks to take back money it already paid to Planned Parenthood health centers — $17 million in health coverage reimbursements over four years for Texans who use Medicaid.
Here’s the deal: Texas officials are well aware — and have been for years — that Planned Parenthood is authorized to serve patients across the state. Before this lawsuit, Texas Medicaid administrators paid Planned Parenthood health center affiliates without complaint. A previous court even ruled that Planned Parenthood affiliates could provide birth control and other basic health care services to Texans insured through Medicaid.
Despite that record of reimbursement and hundreds of thousands of documents showing that Planned Parenthood affiliates lawfully provided care to the state's patients, Texas now alleges that Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers defrauded the Medicaid system. And here’s the kicker: Texas officials seek $1.8 billion in civil penalties — a sum more than 100 times larger than the Medicaid payments at issue in the lawsuit.
What They Want: To Shut Down Health Care for Texans
Let’s get this straight: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates did not commit Medicaid fraud, period. Crates of documents and the testimony of dozens of people show there is no evidence that anyone at Planned Parenthood committed Medicaid fraud.
But facts don't matter to anti-abortion rights politicians — who have long records of spreading disinformation about the care provided at Planned Parenthood health centers. What they want is simple: to abuse their power and the power of the federal courts, and strip Texans of their access to sexual and reproductive health care.
Texans Are Already Hurting
Here’s what we also know: for many Texans of reproductive age, Planned Parenthood providers are their only source of health care. Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas provide accessible, affordable, supportive, and high-quality care to more than 100,000 people annually.
If forced to pay this $1.8 billion, Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers would have to shut down — threatening the care of millions of people. That outcome would devastate Texas families who rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care and deepen the state's health care crisis.
But for the anti-abortion rights politicians who seek that outcome, cruelty is the point.
Already, a recent study ranks Texas worst in the nation for access to high-quality prenatal and maternal care. Texas also ranks as worst in the country for health coverage — nearly one in five Texans have no health insurance policy.
In 2011, Texas made huge funding cuts to the state’s family planning program and started a scheme that essentially blocked providers like Planned Parenthood from the few remaining dollars. As a result of the budget and funding changes, Texas’ family planning program served 54% fewer patients.
In 2012, Texas moved to end its federally funded Medicaid family planning expansion rather than let patients get care at Planned Parenthood. As a result, many Texans were left with nowhere to turn; nearly 45,000 Texans lost access to health care and another 39,000 lost access to birth control.
Help keep Planned Parenthood health centers open in Texas. Sign the petition now.
Tell Texas: Drop This Baseless Lawsuit Against Planned Parenthood
Urge Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to drop this politically motivated lawsuit and end their attacks on Planned Parenthood health centers and patients.