Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas and patient co-plaintiffs today filed for a preliminary injunction to protect care for nearly 11,000 patients whose access to HIV screenings, cancer screenings, birth control and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood is at risk. The preliminary injunction is filed as part of ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients. Read background on the case here. Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients at its health centers in Texas.
Tragically, we’ve seen the consequences for Texans when politicians block access to care. Nearly 30,000 fewer women received birth control, cancer screenings, and other care from the Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP) after the state barred care at Planned Parenthood in 2011, according to a report by the state’s own health department.
This comes as extreme politicians in the U.S. Congress want to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood and take the nation the way of Texas, denying millions of people access to preventive health care. Not only is blocking care at Planned Parenthood dangerous, it’s deeply unpopular. 15 national polls have shown strong support for Planned Parenthood and extraordinarily strong opposition to policies targeting access to care at our health centers.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
We will never back down and we will never stop fighting for our patients. Politicians in Texas have already stripped away women’s access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other care, leaving tens of thousands out in the cold. And now they’re at it again. Worse yet, extreme politicians in Congress are threatening to make this Texas nightmare a reality for millions of people across the country. This is a dangerous plan, and it is not what Americans want.
Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
Planned Parenthood’s doors are open to its patients today and they will be open tomorrow. We will fight tooth and nail to protect access to health care for all Texans. Politics should never come before health care that people need.
One of Planned Parenthood’s patient co-plaintiffs — a 26-year-old from San Antonio who requested anonymity because of her desire not to have the private and personal nature of her care made public — wrote in her public declaration for the court: “I have a five year-old son. I am a single parent and I am insured through Medicaid...I don't have a general doctor I go to. I try to get all of my health care at PPST [Planned Parenthood South Texas]. If PPST could not stay in the Medicaid program, I do not know how I would get the services I need. I could not afford to pay for them and would not know where else to go.”
A year ago, the state originally tried to block Medicaid patients’ access to care at Planned Parenthood, basing their action on false claims from anti-abortion extremists in heavily edited and thoroughly discredited videos. Planned Parenthood never has and never would sell fetal tissue for profit. In fact when this went before a grand jury in Texas, not only did they choose to clear Planned Parenthood, but instead indicted members of the Center for Medical Progress. Planned Parenthood has been already cleared by 13 state investigations and an additional eight states declined to even investigate. The state of Texas is once again recycling these false accusations.