Planned Parenthood files emergency lawsuit to stay in Texas Medicaid program

Planned Parenthood filed an emergency lawsuit Wednesday asking courts to block Texas officials from kicking its clinics out of the state’s Medicaid program.

State officials had sent a notice to Planned Parenthood providers in January saying they would be terminated from Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor, beginning Thursday.

“For now, if courts don’t immediately step in to block [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott’s harmful order, 8,000 Texans with low incomes could lose access to critical, life-saving health care, including cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and birth control,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

The termination of the relationship between Texas’s Medicaid program and Planned Parenthood is the culmination of a years-long battle between the health care provider and anti-abortion politicians.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last year sided with Texas in its efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood, ending a lengthy legal battle in the state that began under former Gov. Rick Perry (R).