A federal judge today stopped Texas from preventing a health organization affiliated with abortion providers from receiving state funds. The state immediately appealed. US District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled there is sufficient evidence that a law banning Planned Parenthood from the state's Women's Health Program is unconstitutional. He imposed an injunction against enforcing it until he can hear full arguments.
The law passed last year by the Republican-controlled legislature forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions sued the state. The clinics say the law unconstitutionally restricts their freedom of speech and association. The judge accepted Planned Parenthood's argument that banning the organization from the program would leave women without access to clinics for basic health services and check-ups. (Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)