A federal judge, on Tuesday, put a halt on Texas’ effort to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood services in the state. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks’ preliminary injunction temporarily stopped the state’s effort to defund the reproductive health non-profit, which gained momentum after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded, highly edited videos in 2015 that were contrived to make the organization look like it was profiting off the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing by a Texas grand jury; that has not fazed Republican lawmakers however.
“Sparks' decision preserves what Planned Parenthood says are cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics,” according to the Associated Press. “Texas originally intended to boot Planned Parenthood in January but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling. Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked.”
Planned Parenthood says none of the Medicaid funds it receives, which the organization says amounted to $3 million in 2016, go towards providing abortion services for the 120,000 patients it serves at its Texas health centers. Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state intends to appeal the ruling.