Planned Parenthood sues new Women's Health Program
SAN ANTONIO - Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Women's Health Program, claiming it violates state law.
The group filed the lawsuit in state court Friday, the day after a federal judges refused to hear any further arguments on the move by Texas to drop Planned Parenthood from its Women's Healthcare Funding Program.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the order a victory for the right of Texas to "defund" abortion affiliates.
But Planned Parenthood has questions what about happens next for women who rely on free or low-cost birth control and care.
Planned Parenthood's been around since the 1930s and the president of the South Texas organization says it will remain -- even if the state doesn't continue funding it.
"If a woman wanted to continue to come to Planned Parenthood, this particular funding stream won't cover her anymore, but we'll be able to cover her," said Jeffrey Hons, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.
The loss of state funding for its services does change a few things. Planned Parenthood is using a sliding scale according to a woman's income.
"People with a lot of money pay full-fee," Hons explained. "People with some money pay a little bit and people with very little money get generous discounts."
Despite all the controversy, there is still a state-run program online.
Texas women's Health Program provides low-income women with family planning services, related screenings and birth control. All you do is you enter your zip code and they'll help you find a doctor near you.
What they will not provide is emergency birth control or abortion.
For those things the state does cover, it will pay 100 percent of the cost.
For the rest, Planned Parenthood hopes its clients will move out of the health program and remain with them.
"A great many of the providers of the program were seeing less than 500 or less than 100 visits a year," Hons said. "We were seeing thousands of client visits a year, so I'm not show how all this is going to work out."
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