Judge allows ban on funds to Planned Parenthood - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Judge allows ban on funds to Planned Parenthood

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Full time student Emily Howell is a long-time Planned Parenthood patient.

"I've been going to Planned Parenthood for more than 10 years in three different states," Howell said.

She receives services through the Texas Women's Health Program which provides screenings and contraceptives to about 110,000 low income women a year.

"A lot of women are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have access to affordable healthcare and I'm one of those people so this has been a tremendous burden off of me to have access to this healthcare." But she says now that's in jeopardy.

Monday, a Texas judge denied Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary restraining order to keep the organization in the Texas Women's Health Program.

"I'm certainly disappointed and my biggest concern really has to do with what these women are going to do in terms of access to providers, even here in Austin," said Texas State Representative Donna Howard (D).

But, pro-life advocates are calling the ruling a victory.

"The Texas voters have spoken very clearly. They've elected people that have gone into office and said that we don't want tax dollars being used for abortion providers or any of that money going to affiliates of abortion providers," said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values.

Nearly half of the patients in the Texas women's health program currently go to Planned Parenthood and some question if the state has enough qualified clinics to take on that many new patients.

"I do not believe that there are enough providers other than Planned Parenthood that will be able to absorb these patients. I don't think it's going to be easy for people to get appointments," said Howell.

The state has maintained that they are prepared.

"There are over 3,500 providers that the Texas health and human services commission has available that have nothing to do with the abortion industry or no connection. They're ready to give women state of the art care and Texas women are going to just fine without Planned Parenthood a part of this program," Saenz said.

Governor Rick Perry released a statement saying, "Today's ruling finally clears the way for thousands of low-income Texas women to access much-needed care, while at the same time respecting the values and law of our state."

Another hearing with a different judge has been scheduled for January 11 where Planned Parenthood will again ask for an injunction for state funding.

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