Texas cuts federal funding to Houston Planned Parenthood affiliate
Texas cuts federal funding to Houston Planned Parenthood affiliate

On Wednesday, officials said the Texas health department is going to cut off federal funding to a Houston Planned Parenthood affiliate for an about 30 years old HIV prevention program.

Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Chris Van Deusen said that they have the discretion to expand the contract without elaborating anything and have elected not to do so. Deusen said that the area’s local health departments will provide the services there.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention federally funds the contract but it is managed by the state.

State officials sent a letter to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on Monday, saying that the $600,000 annual grant that will expire on December 31 is going to cut off indefinitely.

Launched in 1988, the program has administered over 138,000 HIV tests and detected 1,182 people with the virus. The programs also tests for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and hepatitis C.

After noting that the move has a political motive, the Houston-area Planned Parenthood affiliate said in a statement, “It's cruel to play games with people's health care,",. "Another provider will be hard pressed to fill the gap”.

The efforts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood have been intensified by Texas Republican leaders following an anti-abortion group released videos, which it said were showing the reproductive health agency’s officials negotiating prices for fetal tissues from abortions performed by it.

Planned Parenthood mentioned that the videos were edited heavily and refused profiting from fetal tissue donation. Lawsuits have been filed by it to stop attempts to cut its Medicaid funding.

A spokeswoman for CDC said that the agency does not give money directly to Planned Parenthood and mentioned that the state was within its rights for money reallocation.

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