• Finally: Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood, Alleges Clinics Unsafe, Unsanitary

    Texas stripped Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funding Monday, citing undercover videos released by The Center for Medical Progress as evidence of “serious” Medicaid violations.

    Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas are “no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner,” Texas Health and Human Services said in a letter to the non-profit’s affiliates in the state obtained by the Associated Press.

    Those affiliates are potentially “liable, directly or by affiliation, for a series of serious Medicaid program violations” highlighted by the videos, the five-page letter read, alleging Planned Parenthood unlawfully alters the timing or method of abortions to harvest desirable tissue from aborted fetuses.

    Top Planned Parenthood docs frankly discuss their dealing in aborted fetuses in the videos, and medical techs are seen picking through the remains of an abortion. CMP alleges they are illegally profiting from the exchange of tissue and violating partial-birth abortion laws.

    Texas also alleged the affiliates are unsafe, because they’re failing to prevent conditions in which disease can spread and because their staff are not properly trained to control infection while handling the blood and tissue of the aborted fetuses.

    The decision strips Planned Parenthood of between $3 million and $4 million in Medicaid funds it typically receives each year, reports USA Today. New Hampshire, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Utah have also defunded the non-profit– a move the Obama administration has warned violates Medicaid laws regarding access to care.

    Planned Parenthood denies all allegations of wrongdoing. Last week the group abruptly announced it would stop receiving any kind of payment in exchange for the aborted fetuses.

    A federal court ruled Monday that Louisiana must continue to provide Planned Parenthood with Medicaid funds for two more weeks, as a court battle between Planned Parenthood and Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal plays out.

    Senate Democrats have so far blocked efforts to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level, but House Republicans are investigating Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayer funds and whether clinic’s are in fact violating partial-birth abortion and fetal tissue laws.

    As national demand for abortion is decreasing and Planned Parenthood’s client base is declining, the share of non-abortion services it provides has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2004. Planned Parenthood receives about $500 million federal funds each year.

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