U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled today there is insufficient evidence in the law to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding and preventing them from receiving it is unconstitutional. The judge issued an injunction against enforcing the Texas law until he can hear full arguments.
Texas is ranked one of the worse states to be a woman as 35 percent of the women in that state do not have access to health care. The funding through the Women’s Health Program at eight Planned Parenthood clinics would ensure the safety net for low income women relying on their services as the provider of last resort.
The law passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions sued the state. The clinics say the law unconstitutionally restricts their freedom of speech and association.
"The court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women," Yeakel wrote in his ruling. "The record before the court at this juncture reflects uncertainty as to the continued viability of the Texas Women's Health Program."
Texas officials have said that if the state is forced to include Planned Parenthood, they will likely shut down the program that serves basic health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women.
The court's decision comes after the federal government cut off funding to Texas because of the state requirement. Federal officials said the rule violates federal law by restricting women from choosing the qualified medical provider of their choice, according to an AP report.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry promised to make up for the lost federal funds. State health officials say maintaining the program was cheaper than allowing it to expire, because ending the program would result in a spike in unplanned pregnancies among poor women who rely on Medicaid, which is also funded by the state.