The Trump administration on Wednesday restored federal funding to a Texas family-planning program that excludes abortion providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services approved Texas’s request for federal funds for the Healthy Texas Women program, which had been denied by the Obama administration due to the state’s refusal to include Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the program. The federal funds allotted to the program may be as much as $330 million, according to the Texas Tribune.
“The Lone Star State is once again in partnership with the federal government to provide meaningful family planning and health services while fostering a culture of life,” said Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, in a statement on Wednesday.
“When Texas lawmakers exercised their right to fund women’s health care without underwriting abortion businesses, they were punished by the Obama administration and smeared by abortion activists and their media allies,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Restoring Texas’s decision regarding use of federal funds is an acknowledgment that the Lone Star State was right all along.”
Healthy Texas Women served around 173,000 people in 2018, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission reported. According to state officials cited by the Tribune, increased federal funding could expand the program’s services to over 200,000 people .
The HHS decision could also serve as a precedent for similar cases in other states. South Carolina and Tennessee, for example, have applied with the Trump administration to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs.
“This backdoor ‘defund’ could — and will — pave the way for other states to follow Texas’s dangerous lead, with grim consequences for repro health nationwide,” the Planned Parenthood Action Fund wrote in a Twitter post reacting to the administration’s decision.