Planned Parenthood Wins Preliminary Injunction

Court ruling bars state from excluding PP from WHP

Planned Parenthood Wins Preliminary Injunction
Illustration by Jason Stout

Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel today ruled in favor of nine Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas that sought to block the state from going forward with a new rule that would ban their ability to provide services as part of the successful Women's Health Program.

The PP affiliates have won a temporary injunction, which blocks the state from banning them as client providers in the WHP, which provides low-income women access to basic health care and family planning services.

"It is well-established that the government is entitled to define the limits of a publicly funded program," Yeakel wrote. "But the government may not condition participation in a government program or receipt of a government benefit upon an applicants exercise of protected rights." In order to receive the temporary injunction, the PP affiliates had to demonstrate a likelihood that they would win their suit on the merits, Yeakel noted. The PP affiliates "have satisfied their burden of persuasion on the four factors necessary for them to be entitled to maintain the status quo that exists between them and the State of Texas, pending this court's determination of the merits" of the larger case, he wrote. "In balancing the relative harm to the parties and the court's concern for the interest of the public, the court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women. The record before the court at this juncture reflects the uncertainty as to the continued viability of the Texas Women's Health Program," he continued. "Although the Governor [Rick Perry] has instructed that the program is to continue fully funded by Texas, the current record gives the court no comfort that funds are or will be available to continue the program after the phase out of federal funds."

Find background on the WHP – and the state's move to eliminate PP as a provider in the program – here.

Details on the court hearing leading to Yeakel's ruling are here.

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For more, check out our War on Women's Health page.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Planned Parenthood, Women's Health Program, Reproductive Rights, Abortion, Courts, Lee Yeakel, Rick Perry, Family Planning, First Amendment, 14th Amendment, due process, free speech, women's health, health care, War on Women

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