LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Planned Parenthood has filed an injunction to a state district court, which will be reviewed on January 11. The injunction requests the court to review a new law stating that women enrolled in the Texas Women's Health Program can no longer receive services through Planned Parenthood.
The program is only a day old, but it has already stirred up fiery protests from several Planned Parenthood advocates.
Jan Wilkerson, a registered nurse, says Planned Parenthood saved her daughter's life when they discovered a cyst on her ovary, after doctors refused to help her since she had no insurance.
"They started doing testing and they discovered she had an ovarian cyst. They were able to treat that, get her on medication and take care of the problem," Wilkerson said.
The new program provides yearly preventative exams for women who are between the ages of 18 and 44, a U.S. citizen, and are not receiving full Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
Under the new law, women enrolled in the program can no longer seek services from Planned Parenthood, something spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Rochelle Tafolla, says is unconstitutional.
"It's basically saying that women cannot come to Planned Parenthood for family planning services simply because we have a very separate legal and financial corporation that provides legal abortion," Tafolla said.
In a statement released Monday, Governor Rick Perry said that the ruling was a way for thousands of low-income Texas women to access much needed care.
"What has changed is that the state is now telling women that if you are enrolled in the Women's Health Program and have relied on Planned Parenthood you now have to find a new provider if you want to continue getting care through that program," Tafolla said.
Women who are not members of the program can still receive healthcare from Planned Parenthood, but because of this program the organization will no longer receive state funding.
Women enrolled in the program have a handful of doctors to choose from in East Texas and can access that information at www.texaswomanshealth.org/providers. But those women who are enrolled in the program who still seek services from Planned Parenthood will now have to pay out of pocket.