An appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the state of Texas can exclude Planned Parenthood from a state health program for low-income women because the organization performs abortions.
The ruling by 5th U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith reversed a lower court ruling Monday in favor of Planned Parenthood. The emergency ruling on Tuesday means the state is free – for now – to enforce a new rule banning Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program, Texas officials said. The court requested a response from Planned Parenthood by Tuesday afternoon.
The new state rule bans program money from going to affiliates of abortion providers. State law has included that ban on affiliates since the program began in 2007 but the state did not enforce it.
Texas notified the federal government last year of its intent to begin enforcing the ban, effectively excluding Planned Parenthood from the program.
President Barack Obama’s administration has said it will not renew funding for the Texas program because the state was violating federal law by restricting the freedom to choose providers. The state is suing over that decision.