Women in Texas will once more have a greater choice of providers to receive birth control and reproductive health care from, as a bill intended to block any federal family planning funding from going to clinics that provide abortions has been overruled by the Obama administration.
Via the Houston Chronicle:
Texas will no longer be allowed to prohibit Medicaid recipients from receiving care at family planning clinics that perform abortions, the federal government informed the state Monday.
Arguing that the Social Security Act prohibits states from excluding such clinics, the federal agency that runs the program informed Texas that next year it will not approve an agreement like the one now in place in Texas.
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“The issue is … whether a state can restrict access to a qualified health provider simply because they provide other services Medicaid doesn’t pay for,” Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, said in a phone interview with reporters. “The law does not permit this.”
The decision is similar to those in other states, such as Kansas and Indiana, that have tried to discriminate on who can receive family planning funds, primarily as an attempt to keep money from going to Planned Parenthood affiliates.