WASHINGTON, DC — Representatives from the Texas Office of Inspector General showed up at Planned Parenthood health centers in Brownsville, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio demanding administrative records. Underscoring the political motivations behind these raids, officials in San Antonio showed up at Planned Parenthood’s health center at the same time as a reporter, in what appeared to be a coordinated move. This came days after the state announced it would end Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts, jeopardizing access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other care for the nonprofit’s approximately 13,000 Medicaid patients. Reporters received notice of the contract termination prior to Planned Parenthood affiliates. It seems that, after the fact, the state raided Planned Parenthood’s health centers looking for an excuse to justify its politically motivated actions.
The state of Texas overtly tied its termination of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts to the thoroughly discredited smear campaign based on heavily edited and deceptive videos from anti-abortion extremists. In Texas --as in Congress -- news reports have confirmed that politicians are working in coordination with anti-abortion extremists behind the fraudulent videos. Politicians in Texas, in Congress, and throughout the country have made clear they will stop at nothing -- pushing lies, misinformation, and fabrications -- to end access to safe and legal abortion. In Florida, the Scott administration has been called out for using his seat to lodge patently false accusations against Planned Parenthood – including “scrubbing” a press release to distort the truth.
Officials in six states have concluded investigations and found Planned Parenthood in compliance with state laws and regulations, including in Missouri, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. Another seven states — Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia — have declined to launch investigations because there is nothing to substantiate claims of wrongdoing.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“It’s clear politicians think they can bully us out of caring for Texans in need. Planned Parenthood will not be intimidated, and you cannot close our doors. All these raids, investigations and bogus footage ultimately keep revealing the same thing -- Planned Parenthood providing professional, compassionate and quality health care. While these politicians work to create a Texas where women have nowhere to turn for safe, legal abortion or basic reproductive health care, our doors will stay open. We will continue to ensure that the women and men across the country have a trusted place they can turn for health care --- no matter what.”
Years of hostile policies have already left tens of thousands of Texas women without access to cancer screenings, birth control, HIV tests and other preventive care. On top of decimating access to preventive care, politicians have forced the closure of health centers that provide safe, legal abortion across the state -- forcing women to wait up to 20 days or more for an abortion, if they can access one at all.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
October 23, 2015