Back in December of 2016, the lovely lawmakers of Texas decided, for what felt like the millionth time in that state, to defund Planned Parenthood. This was, of course, despite a law signed off on by former President Obama prohibiting states from defunding women’s health organizations on the basis of whether or not they offered abortion services.
But on Monday, a federal judge finally weighed in, ruling that the state cannot cut off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. One month into the Trump administration, and my god, the judicial branch is seriously coming in clutch for us. The federal judge’s ruling means that, for the time being, Planned Parenthood will continue to enjoy federal funding in the state.
We should celebrate this victory now, today, because how often do we get reproductive rights-related victories these days? Every other day a state legislature passes some bill restricting abortion, or attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, and on a federal level we’re constantly moving closer to the demise of Obamacare, and with it, all its guarantees of gender equality in healthcare.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has already declared he will appeal the decision, which he described as “disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Calling Planned Parenthood adverse to “basic human decency” is essentially the same as saying being a woman who wants to have sex for any reason other than procreation is beneath “basic human decency,” but as if pointing this out to conservatives would really do much at this point.
It’s likely Paxton was referring directly to the fact that some Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services, albeit without federal funding due to the Hyde amendment. It gets really tiresome repeating this over and over again to justify funding Planned Parenthood, and simultaneously loathing the fact that federal funding legally can’t go to abortion, as if the personal ideologies of some ought to be prioritized above basic notions of public health and the human rights of women on Medicaid. Talk about “flying in the face of human decency.”
Today we celebrate Planned Parenthood’s survival in a state with a long history of hostility to women having control over their bodies, but this celebration must, of course, be weighed with the understanding that the fight continues. And, seriously, we have got to get to work doing everything we can to replace sexist, puritanical douche bags like Ken Paxton.