RULING

Judge Blocks TX Planned Parenthood Cut

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin, Texas ruled on Tuesday that the state can't cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over a series of secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015. Texas now stands as at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services. The decision on Tuesday allows Planned Parenthood to keep cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics. "A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program," Sparks wrote. "Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas's efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources."