Correction: Texas-Women's Health Program story

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — In a Jan. 11 story about a Texas judge refusing to allow Planned Parenthood to temporarily rejoin a health program for low-income women, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas do not perform abortions. The Planned Parenthood clinics involved in the lawsuit against the state over the Texas Women's Health Program do not perform abortions, but other Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas do.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Judge blocks Planned Parenthood from Texas program

Planned Parenthood again blocked from Texas women's health program, leaving options uncertain

By PAUL J. WEBER

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge refused to allow Planned Parenthood to temporarily rejoin a health program for low-income women on Friday, saying the organization is unlikely to win its court fight to get around a new law that disqualifies health clinics with any affiliation to abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood was one of the largest chains of health clinics in the Texas Women's Health Program, which provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and other basic health services to more than 110,000 eligible low-income women statewide. The Planned Parenthood clinics involved in the lawsuit do not offer abortions, but some of the organization's other facilities do.

State District Judge Steve Yelenosky acknowledged that excluding Parent Parenthood would likely to impact women who depend on the program's free services. But the judge said the organization would likely to lose if its lawsuit went to trial.

Yelenosky previously sided with Planned Parenthood in November — but that was before federal funding stopped paying for 90 percent of the program on Jan. 1. Federal officials severed ties with the program because of the new rules, saying it was illegal to deny a woman the right to choose her own doctor.

"In this suit, because there are no federal funds at issue, the successful argument in the first case isn't availing," Yelenosky said Friday.

Yelenosky's ruling does not exhaust Planned Parenthood's legal option, but it is a blow to the organization's two-year fight to rejoin the program. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood declined to say Friday whether they would press for a trial.

Planned Parenthood was kicked out of the taxpayer-funded program once the federal funding stopped. Without state reimbursements or finding new sources of funding, the organization has warned that clinics across the state could be shuttered because most of their patients can't afford to pay.

"It's gonna be a challenge in the days ahead for Planned Parenthoods across the state to be able to maintain the same level of service that we've had prior to now," said Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.