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Federal judge blocks Texas from stripping funds from Planned Parenthood

In this July 28, 2015 file photo, Erica Canaut, center, cheers as she and other anti-abortion activists rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, to protest funding for Planned Parenthood. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A federal judge in Texas ruled Tuesday that the state can't block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds, according to NBC News.

TheBlaze previously reported that in December of last year, officials in the state's Health and Human Services Department moved to strip Medicaid funds, arguing that undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showed “that Planned Parenthood violated state and federal law.”

The Center for Medical Progress’ videos depicted Planned Parenthood executives appearing to negotiate the price of aborted fetal body parts. The sale of human organs — including those of the unborn — is illegal in the United States. Planned Parenthood has denied illegal conduct and claimed that the videos were deceptively edited.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Texas Health and Human Services Commission from stripping Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood.

Sparks wrote in his order that “a secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment [and] congressional investigations” 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.”

“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,” Sparks wrote.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement Tuesday that he plans to appeal the ruling.

“Today’s decision is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency,” Paxton said, adding:

The raw, unedited footage from undercover videos exposed a brazen willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal body parts, as well as manipulate the timing and method of an abortion. Even the remains of the most vicious criminals are treated with respect. But the children who never had a chance at life become so-called medical waste or, alternatively, a commodity to be bartered for. No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct. We should never lose sight of the fact that, as long as abortion is legal in the United States, the potential for these types of horrors will continue.

Planned Parenthood applauded the ruling on Twitter.


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