Pete Schenkkan, representing Planned Parenthood clinics and patients, said the new program is a continuation of the old one and that Planned Parenthood should be allowed to continue caring for patients until a court decides whether the so-called affiliate rule is valid. He argued that existing statutes should prevent the state from enforcing the rule and that the organization and its patients would be harmed if the state refused to provide further funding on Jan. 1.
"Under the law that we have now, the department can't do the things they want to do," he said. He added that it was not clear that the State Department of Health Services had enough capacity to make up for the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics and doctors.
Linda Edwards Gockel, an agency spokeswoman, said the department has enrolled enough providers for the major metropolitan areas, but that a survey of the available capacity in rural and South Texas was still under way. She said more doctors are signing up for the program every day.