By now, most people have heard about the undercover videos found in some Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. The videos were said to show abortion clinics actually harvesting human organs and trading fetal body parts. They were said to do this to gain individual and organization wide profits. In the wake of the video release, several states have been working to defund Planned Parenthood locations in their state. Texas is the most recent state to decide to cut Medicaid funding in Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state.
After undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood workers discussing fetal tissue being sold for profit, Congress began investigating the issue. Governor Greg Abbott ordered an investigation of the footage as well and determined cuts needed to be made to the Planned Parenthood clinics of Texas. The state of Louisiana is currently in court fighting this battle, and Texas might be the next to follow.
Texas announced funding cuts
Recently, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission inspector general, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., wrote a letter to the Texas Planned Parenthood clinic. In the letter, Bowen stated that because of the recent videos, the state no longer believes that the organization is capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner. Because the state believes Planned Parenthood can no longer perform accurate medical services, they will be cut out of the state Medicaid program.
Planned Parenthood responds
Of course Planned Parenthood responded back, stating the decision is outrageous and will leave thousands of women without health care services statewide. Several of these women do not attend Planned Parenthood clinics to receive abortions, but rather visit seeking other reproductive health care services such as HIV testing, cancer screenings, and birth control. The center has denied accusations made from the videos and claims that many seemed to be deceptively edited and were simply falsified by anti- abortionists.
Texas compared with other states
The state of Louisiana has also been fighting to cut Medicaid for Planned Parenthood throughout the state. When they went to court, a federal judge did order the state of Louisiana to continue providing Medicaid funding until the legal issues regarding Planned Parenthood are heard. A different result might come from the state of Texas and their battle against defunding Planned Parenthood. There are actually no Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in the state of Louisiana, but there are locations that provide the procedure to individuals in the state of Texas. This a huge difference between the two, and so a different outcome might be possible when taken to court.
State vs Federal
With the debate going on between states, a question has risen as to whether states should even be able to completely cut funds to federal programs, like Medicaid. Do they have any jurisdiction in doing so? If the state of Texas is successful in their pursuits to stop funding, a majority of Planned Parenthood’s revenue could be lost. A huge majority of their revenue does come from Medicaid patients. Without it, the organization may no longer be able to keep its’ doors opened.
Other organizations to step up
Texas officials who are hoping to see defunding to Planned Parenthood locations also believe that there are other reproductive health care organizations that will be ready to provide ethical and safe services to Medicaid patients. Planned Parenthood is not the only organization that provides women with tests and screenings and stopping Medicaid funding should not have an effect on those seeking services. Although there is a larger number of people who utilize Planned Parenthood for their reproductive needs, individuals are always provided with the option to switch to another provider of the same services.
This is a hot topic right now because there are so many people debating the truthfulness of the videos there were released a couple months ago. Some believe it is all a hoax, which was planned by pro-life activists. These people believe abortion is wrong, no matter what the circumstance might be. Planned Parenthood is one of the most popular organizations that provides abortion services to its patients, so why not try to “take them out”. Others believe that even if the videos were fabricated a little bit, there is still some truth to the allegations. Several states nationwide just do not want to take the chance of these videos being an accurate depiction of what might be going on in several clinics throughout the nation. It might be better for the state to defund Planned Parenthood before more unethical information comes out, and many believe it is only a matter of time before this happens.