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Texas judge extends Planned Parenthood injunction

Associated Press Modified: November 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012

Republican Gov. Rick Perry has known since March that federal officials would cut off funding and ordered state officials to develop a new program that depended solely on state funding. That program was due to launch on Nov. 1, but Perry and Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek said they would continue to accept federal funding for as long as possible.

However, Perry did say that he would cut off funding to Planned Parenthood immediately, and Planned Parenthood won a temporary order the next day to retain funding. Janek and Perry have both said they will cut the Women's Health Program, which provides services to 110,000 poor women, if a court decided the affiliate rule is illegal and the state must fund Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions.

Perry said state lawmakers made it clear that they don't want any state funds to reach groups such as Planned Parenthood under any circumstances.

Assistant Solicitor General Kristofer Monson argued that the court should not interpret state law in a way that would interfere with the state executive branch performing its duty to write administrative rules. He also questioned whether the federal decision to cut off funding should be considered a legal ruling.

Planned Parenthood clinics provided services to 50,000 women from 40 health centers under the Women's Health Program. They presented an expert witness on reproductive health, Joseph Potter, who testified that his research shows that other doctors do not have the capacity to take for all of the poor women where Planned Parenthood operates in impoverished areas.

Janek has said his agency has signed up thousands of doctors, but his agency has not tested whether there is enough capacity to absorb all of the women who currently rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health needs.