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Texas Sues Federal Government over Abortion Law
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On Friday, the Texas attorney general sued the Obama administration challenging the federal decision to shut down a women’s health program because of Texas withholding funds to clinics that provide abortions. The escalating political fight over abortion law has been taken to other arenas of women’s relief by the federal government which is busy shutting down women’s health programs that serve low-income women.

The program which is being shut down by the federal agency is the Texas Women’s Health Program that serves more than 100,000 low-income women on federal funding due to Texas law that prevents state funding of programs that promote or perform abortions.

The lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her agency as the principal defendant. Kathleen had been handpicked for appointment by President Barrack Obama.

  
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The case, now pending before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, also alleges that the Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have taken a decision that “violates the Constitution of the United States by seeking to commandeer and coerce the state’s lawmaking processes into awarding taxpayer subsidies to elective abortion providers.”

The political dispute arose in 2011 when the Texas Legislature introduced an amendment in the Medicaid Funding Bill while passing it, mandating that no funding would go to facilities providing abortion services, even if state money was not being paid directly.

Since the federal government disagreed with the waiver, the language of the law requires the program be discontinued.

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On Thursday, Cindy Mann, the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the federal government had run out of options and cannot renew the program because Texas’s rule of denial of funds for abortion curtails the freedom of choice of health providers and is not permissible under federal law.

With the federal decision, Texas managed to earn the dubious laurel of becoming the first state to have its Medicaid Family Planning Demonstration Program canceled by the federal government.





 

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