Abbott bans low-income Medicaid patients from Planned Parenthood

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Policy, Reproductive Health

A state court ruled on Wednesday that an order by Gov. Greg Abbott excluding Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Medicaid program could go through. 

A Travis County judge blocked the attempt by Abbott in February. 

More than 8,000 low-income Texans depend on Planned Parenthood and Medicaid for their healthcare, including birth control and cancer screenings.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said Texans will have to find a new provider in the state amid a provider shortage and as Texans recover from the pandemic and snowstorm. 

“It didn’t have to be this way for Texans,” Johnson said in a statement. “But true to form, Gov. Abbott continues to put his politics before the people he was elected to serve. Texans need more provider options, especially during a pandemic that has claimed more than 41,000 lives across the state. We remain committed to fighting for Texans and ensuring the Biden administration makes good on their commitment to enforce the Medicaid law in all states — because your income level and zip code shouldn’t determine whether you can access the life-saving health care you need.”

Last month, the Biden administration warned that banning Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program violated the free choice of provider Medicaid law.

Dyana Limon-Mercado, executive director, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said Medicaid patients should be able to access a provider they know and trust.

“Without access to the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care Planned Parenthood provides, thousands of lives are now at even greater risk,” she said in a prepared statement. “Planned Parenthood will do everything it can to protect and fight for its patients — since it remains painfully clear that Abbott and his administration will continue to fail Texans in the most devastating ways.”

A poll last month found two-thirds of Texan voters favor enabling people enrolled in Medicaid to have their pregnancy-related healthcare, including abortion, covered by their health insurance.

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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