WHP Update

State officials on Friday 11/16 said we are back in the WHP for now. We are very sorry for all confusion. Please call for more info. 1-800-230-PLAN. We're here for you.

*This is an ongoing process, so please check back for updates.

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Background

On Wednesday, April 11th we filed a lawsuit to protect Texan women's access to basic, preventive health services, Planned Parenthood today sued the state Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in federal court, asking the court to enter a preliminary injunction that will stop enforcement of the unconstitutional rule excluding Planned Parenthood affiliates from the Women's Health Program. 

On Thursday, April 19th a Federal judge heard arguments on our request to stop an unconstitutional rule the blocks Planned Parenthood from providing health care to WHP clients.

On Monday, April 30th a Federal judge ruled in favor of women's health and stopped the state's unconstitutional rule that would have excluded Planned Parenthood health centers from the Women's Health Program.  

 

On late Monday night, April 30th a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge granted the state and "emergency" stay.  This meant that the state's unconstitutional rule excluding Planned Parenthood health centers from the WHP went into effect on May 1. 

 

On Tuesday, May 1st, our attorneys submitted a brief opposing the emergency hold. 

 

On Friday, May 4th, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court stopped Texas from excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program.

 

On Tuesday, August 21st, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's preliminary injunction, and found that barring providers with the name "Planned Parenthood" from the Women's Health Program likely does not violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This meant that Texas can enforce their rule excluding Planned Parenthood health centers from the Women's Health Program.

 

On Tuesday, September 4th, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a petition to ask the entire Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the State of Texas's appeal of a preliminary injunction that blocked a rule barring Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women's Health Program.

 

On Thursday, October 18th, the Department of State Health Services ("DSHS") adopted its "Affiliate Ban Rules" for a new, state-funded Texas Women's Health Program ("TWHP"). The adopted Rules create the 100 percent state-funded Texas Women's Health Program solely so the State may try to kick Planned Parenthood out, eliminating the provider trusted by nearly 48,000 Women's Health Program patients last year.

 

On Thursday, October 25th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Planned Parenthood affiliate's last request to have our case heard by the entire court. The Court also filed paperwork to lift the temporary injunction that currently allows women to continue getting their Medicaid Women's Health Program (WHP) health care from Planned Parenthood health centers. Read our statement.

 

On Friday, October 26th, the court issued a temporary restraining order, which will prevent the "Affiliate Ban Ruler" from barring Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program until the court holds a hearing on our request for a temporary injunction (November 8, 2012).

 Read our statement.

 

On Wednesday, October 31st, Texas officials announced that they will continue to operate the Medicaid Women's Health Program as long as federal funding remains available. Planned Parenthood health centers are still in the Women's Health Program. Read our statement.

 

On Thursday, November 8th, Judge Stephen Yelenosky a Travis County state district judge granted Planned Parenthood Texas affiliate's request for a temporary injunction that stops the state of Texas from excluding Planned Parenthood health centers from the Women's Health Program. Read our statement

On Friday, November 9, 2012, the state of Texas filed another legal document to keep Planned Parenthood health centers from providing health care under the Women's Health Program. We have filed a challenge of our own.

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One quarter of Texas women are uninsured and Texas women have the 3rd highest rate of cervical cancer. The WHP gives women access to basic, preventive health care.  Nearly half of women enrolled in the WHP choose Planned Parenthood over other providers, but Governor Perry wants to tell women where to get their Pap tests and birth control. He is willing to make a bad situation worse for Texas women.  Texans trust women to choose their health care provider and Texas women choose Planned Parenthood.   

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faqs  

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.

Q. Why did they kick out Planned Parenthood from the WHP?
The state of Texas doesn't want Planned Parenthood to participate in the WHP because we are affiliated with a completely separate organization that provides abortion.  The health centers that provide WHP care do not provide abortion, but the state created a rule that would kick us out simply because we are associated with the organization that provides safe, legal abortion.

Q. What's next?
At this point, we are not in the Women's Health Program on Monday. We are exploring all of our options so we can continue taking care of women in the WHP.  Planned Parenthood is here for you no matter what.  We will work with you to get the care you need today.  Please know that we will do everything we can to continue to care for the women and men who trust Planned Parenthood. 
 
Q. Did PPGC fight to stay in the WHP? You put me on this program.
As of November 12 we are not in the WHP.  Planned Parenthood will be here for you no matter what.  We can work with you to get you what you need today.  This situation may change. You can check our website (ppgulfcoast.org) or call us to get the most updated information. 
 
If you need to find another provider today where you can get services covered by the WHP you can call the state's 1-800 number.  The number is 1-800-335-8957.  You will pick a language and then press 5 to speak to an agent about finding a WHP provider.  Let them know that you can't go to Planned Parenthood today because of the state's court case against Planned Parenthood. 


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