The inspector general of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today that the state plans to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving funds from the state’s Medicaid program, according to an official letter obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
The letter states that the termination of Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in the Texas Medicaid program is due to multiple health and legal violations committed by the nation’s largest abortion provider, many of which were brought to light by a series of undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress, or CMP.
The inspector general’s notice to Planned Parenthood states that the organization’s practice of altering the standard of care to procure fetal tissue “violate[s] accepted medical standards, as reflected in federal law” and is therefore a “Medicaid program violation that justif[ies] termination.”
The state’s top government health care watchdog also found that Planned Parenthood “failed to prevent conditions that would allow the spread of infectious diseases among employees, as well as patients and the general public.”
Planned Parenthood officials admitted in the undercover videos that they regularly alter the abortion process in order to harvest more valuable organs from the aborted babies. The fifth CMP video showed Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research, Melissa Farrell, specifically admitting to this while talking about the price of each organ.
The videos also show that the clinics do not take reasonable precautions to prevent infectious diseases from spreading. The letter specifically called out the Gulf Coast clinic for allowing investigators posing as organ buyers to “handle bloody fetal tissue while only wearing gloves.”
The inspector general also cited Planned Parenthood’s history of fraud as a reason for terminating the group’s participation in the state’s Medicaid program. In the past, the abortion provider has over-billed the government for services, including abortions, when it wasn’t allowed to do so. In 2013, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice found that Planned Parenthood significantly over-billed the Texas Medicaid program, and the abortion provider eventually paid $4.3 million in a settlement.
“The State has determined that you [Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast] and your Planned Parenthood affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner,” the letter states.
The letter also notes that Texas women will not lose access to health care as a result of Planned Parenthood’s termination, because in 2012 the state stopped funding Planned Parenthood and established the Women’s Health Program, a large network of clinics that distribute contraception and provide other health services to women in need. Since 2012, community health clinics have increased their women’s health care services by an average of 81 percent, a George Washington University study found.
Planned Parenthood has up to 30 calendar days to respond to the notice of termination from the inspector general. You can read the full notice of termination here.