Texas Planned Parenthood contracts cancelled

Health officials in Texas announced Monday that steps were being taken to end Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood. This decision is following the release of undercover videos which targeted the organization’s fetal tissue donation program.

In a letter sent to all Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, the state’s health inspector general said that the videos convinced him that the organization was not capable of providing its services in a professional, save, legal, and ethical manner, The Washington Post reports.

This change would mean that affiliated facilities would no longer receive reimbursement for serving Medicaid recipients. Similar measures have been denied by federal courts, since states are not permitted to pick and choose which organizations are eligible for reimbursement through Medicaid.

A similar effort was temporarily blocked in Louisiana, where they also attempted to block Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood.

The letter outlines Texas health officials’ case for ending the contracts. The letter cites the undercover videos released by anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. The videos apparently show that Planned Parenthood gain illegal profits from the selling of fetal tissue, donated by women who have abortions, to be used for research.

Officials from Planned Parenthood have stated that they have done nothing wrong. The organization recently stopped accepting compensation for donated tissue, which they say was only used to cover overhead costs. Planned Parenthood also states that the videos were obtained fraudulently and have been heavily edited by the group.

The letter alleges that a number of violations are revealed in the videos. One being a Texas Planned Parenthood affiliate saying they were willing to alter abortion procedures in order to obtain better tissue samples. The officials also say that Planned Parenthood improperly billed Medicaid for services given.

Planned Parenthood has been given 30 days to present evidence contrary to the findings in the video.

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