A federal judge dropped the hammer on Texas republicans on Tuesday, ruling that the state can’t cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood.
According to Time Magazine, Texas is now at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services.
The ruling issued by U.S. District judge Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January, according to the report.
Sparks’ decision preserves Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics. Texas originally intended to boot Planned Parenthood in January but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling.
Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked, according to the report.
Sparks’ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing and stalling on the ouster for nearly a year.
“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote.
“Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources,” he concluded.
Anti-abortion activists emboldened by a new Trump administration are looking for the federal government to cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. That would cut nearly $400 million in Medicaid money to the group and result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.