Target: U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks
Goal: Praise decision to block Texas officials’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
After an anti-abortion group had released misleading videos which allegedly showed Planned Parenthood profiting from the sale of fetal tissues, Texas officials had sought to block the health care provider from receiving federal Medicaid funding. District judge Sam Sparks had decided earlier this year that no decision to cut the funding could be made until he had gone over the evidence presented during a three-day hearing. Now this judge has made his ruling, and has sided with thousands of Texan women who rely on Planned Parenthood for a variety of health services, stating that these funds cannot be blocked until the lawsuit against the provider is settled. There had been a large public and national outcry against the attempts to defund the organization, including petitions such as this one from ForceChange.com.
It is important to note that out of the 39 Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas, none were involved in any fetal tissue donations and none were receiving federal funding for performing abortions, which were the chief complaints that the conservative opposition had raised. Had the judge ruled to defund the organization, the main result would have likely been that thousands of men and women would have lost access to quality reproductive care for things ranging from routine gynecological exams to HIV screenings. Consequently, it is difficult to say how many lives could have been lost.
While the fight to protect Planned Parenthood is far from over, with a number of other states still attempting to defund the organization, this marks a crucial victory in a state that has long struggled to ensure that reproductive health services remain accessible to all. We should applaud this judge’s decision, which follows closely on the heels of another progressive decision he had made to overturn a law that would have required cremation or burial for any fetal remains, including those as a result of a miscarriage.
Sign this petition to praise federal district judge Sam Sparks for helping to ensure that Medicaid funding will continue for Planned Parenthood in Texas.
Dear Judge Sparks,
I want to thank you for dismissing the false and misleading videos presented as evidence in the three-day hearing earlier this year to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas. As you know, no clinics operating within the state receive any federal funding, from Medicaid or otherwise, for providing abortions, and the opposition’s allegations against Planned Parenthood have proven to be fruitless in terms of charges.
Your ruling will help ensure that thousands of Texans will continue to have access to the quality health care that they need. I am pleased with your decision, and wish to commend you for ensuring that Planned Parenthood will continue to receive Medicaid funds going forward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Charlotte Cooper