KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Appeals Judge Reverses Monday Ruling, Allows Texas To Exclude Planned Parenthood From Women’s Health Program

A second federal judge in Texas issued an injunction allowing Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood from Texas' Women's Health Program -- for now -- a day after another judge in Texas had ruled the state couldn't bar the group from the health program. The judge who ruled Tuesday has ordered Planned Parenthood to respond by Tuesday afternoon.

The Associated Press: Appeals Judge Stops Planned Parenthood Injunction
A federal appeals judge stepped into the fight over the Texas Women's Health Program on Tuesday, saying he wanted to hear arguments on whether the state should be prevented from enforcing a law that bans Planned Parenthood from participating in the program. Less than 24 hours after a federal judge in Austin ordered Texas not to enforce a rule banning clinics associated with abortion providers from receiving state funds, Fifth Circuit Appeals Judge Jerry Smith granted Texas an emergency stay lifting the Austin court's order (Tomlinson, 5/1).

Reuters: Appeals Court Allows Texas To Exclude Planned Parenthood
An appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the state of Texas can exclude Planned Parenthood from a state health program for low-income women because the organization performs abortions. The ruling by 5th U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith reversed a lower court ruling Monday in favor of the family planning organization. The emergency ruling on Tuesday means the state is free -- for now -- to enforce a new rule banning Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program, Texas officials said. The court requested a response from Planned Parenthood by Tuesday afternoon (MacLaggan, 5/1).

Los Angeles Times: Planned Parenthood Vs. Texas: Funds In Limbo Pending Ruling
The brinkmanship continues as Texas battles to cut government funding to Planned Parenthood. … Planned Parenthood clinics had sued the state to maintain funding and appeared to have won a victory Monday when a federal judge in Austin issued an injunction that prevented Texas from withdrawing funds from 49 clinics. But early Tuesday, a federal appeals court judge stayed the injunction, pending an appeal by the state filed late Monday. Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans gave Planned Parenthood until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file an opposition brief that he will consider before ruling on the state's appeal (Hennessy-Fiske, 5/1).

Houston Chronicle: Another Twist In Battle Over Women's Health Program
Texas barred Planned Parenthood from a key women's health program Tuesday, after a federal appeals judge halted an order that the organization be allowed to continue participating at least temporarily. Planned Parenthood is fighting the appellate judge's action and said its affiliates will keep serving low-income clients who are part of the Medicaid Women's Health Program -- even though Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said they can no longer bill the state for program services. … U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday granted a preliminary injunction to require the state to keep Planned Parenthood in the program until he makes a decision on the merits of the case. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office, on behalf of the state, asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the injunction, which was granted by Judge Jerry E. Smith (Fikac and Ackerman, 5/1).

The Dallas Morning News: Appeals Court Judge Removes Obstacle to Texas Defunding Planned Parenthood
In the back and forth of women's health funding, a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court judge has lifted a stay imposed on Monday that prevented Texas from cutting Planned Parenthood out of the Women's Health Program. As of now, Texas can withhold $13.5 million from Planned Parenthood that was used to provide about 50,000 poor, uninsured women access to cancer and diabetes screening, as well as contraception. The decision lifts a ruling by federal Judge Lee Yeakel, who found that the eight PP clinics that perform women's health exams raised a credible argument that they were being punished for associating with affiliates that offer abortions (Hoppe, 5/1).

The Hill: Appeals Court Says Texas Can Bar Funds For Planned Parenthood
A U.S. appeals court said Tuesday that Texas can bar Planned Parenthood from receiving funds under a state health care program because the organization performs abortions. The decision reversed a day-old ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who on Monday halted a 2011 law passed by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature excluding Planned Parenthood from the state's Women's Health Program (Viebeck, 5/1).

The Texas Tribune: Judge Gives State OK to Exclude Planned Parenthood 
In a statement to the Tribune, Melaney Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said the clinics in the lawsuit -- none of which provide abortions -- are"disappointed" by the action. ... On Tuesday evening, attorneys for the Planned Parenthood affiliates submitted a brief to the court requesting that Judge Jerry Smith repeal the stay and maintain the current system (Tan, 5/1). 

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.