Today is the last day that federal money will be sent to Texas for the Women’s Health Program – it officially gets cut off on January 1. The state tried and failed to get an injunction forcing the feds to keep the spigot open even as it barred Planned Parenthood from participating. For its part, Planned Parenthood has asked for an injunction forcing the state to keep it in the WHP, which will be funded by the state going forward. A ruling on PP’s request is expected today.
The order, if granted, would keep the group in the program pending another hearing expected in January.
It’s the latest twist in a long-running court saga that stems from the state’s desire to bar Planned Parenthood clinics from program funding because of their connection to abortion providers.
Visiting Judge Gary Harger, who is hearing motions during the holiday week, noted Friday that he had just been notified on Thursday that he would hear the motion for a temporary restraining order. Harger said the Planned Parenthood petition was 129 pages, and the state response was 61 pages, and he wanted to take the matter under advisement. He plans to rule on Monday.
A fuller version of this story is here. I’m honestly not sure if this is related to one of the previously filed lawsuits or if it’s something new. Be that as it may, I’ll post an update when I see a report on how Judge Harger ruled.
UPDATE: Judge Harger has denied the request for an injunction, meaning the state can bar Planned Parenthood from its replacement Women’s Health Program, at least pending the outcome of other ongoing litigation.
UPDATE: More from the Trib, which has a good summary of where we are and how we got here.