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Ban on Planned Parenthood funding okayed by Texas judge

A judge ruled Monday that Texas could cut off state funding from Planned Parenthood.

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In this picture from last year, protesters shouted slogans during a rally to "stand up for women's health" in support of Planned Parenthood at the National Mall in Washington, DC, on April 7, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A judge ruled Monday that Texas could cut off state funding from Planned Parenthood.

According to the Associated Press, Judge Gary Harger said that Texas can exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding if they advocate for abortion rights. The state had banned the use of state funds for abortion long ago, but had continued to reimburse Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide basic health care to poor women through the state's Women's Health Program. Check-ups and birth control were provided to 110,000 women a year through the program, 48,000 of them through Planned Parenthood clinics.

More from GlobalPost: Planned Parenthood: Federal judge blocks funding cuts in Texas

A temporary restraining order was filed by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and client Marcela Balquinta in an attempt to keep the clinics as part of the new state women's health program that will begin Jan. 1, reported the Dallas News. Another hearing will be held Jan. 11 in order for Planned Parenthood to get another chance at a temporary injunction but, in the meantime, it will not be part of the state's program launching tomorrow.

"It is shocking that once again Texas officials are letting politics jeopardize health care access for women. This case isn't about Planned Parenthood — it's about women like Marcy Balquinta, who rely on us for basic, preventive health care," said Melaney A. Linton, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, according to the Houston Chronicle. "Regardless of what happens in the courts, Planned Parenthood will be here for our patients. Our doors remain open today and always to Texas women in need. We only wish Texas politicians shared this commitment to Texas women, their health, and their wellbeing."

Attorney General spokeswoman Lauren Bean also made a statement about the court's decision, noted the AP.

"We are pleased the court rejected Planned Parenthood's latest attempt to skirt state law," Bean said. "The Texas Attorney General's office will continue to defend the Texas Legislature's decision to prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving taxpayer dollars through the Women's Health Program."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121231/ban-planned-parenthood-funding-okayed-texas-judge