Planned Parenthood seeking alternate funding to keep services for women

The future of the Texas Women's Health Program is headed to the courts.

Texas sued the federal government after the Obama administration announced it would no longer fund the program.

They cited a state law barring Planned Parenthood and other groups from participating.

"Were waiting to see what will happen, Patricio Gonzalez said. In the meantime we will continue to provide services to women under the Women TMs Health Program."

Gonzalez is the executive director for the Hidalgo County branch of Planned Parenthood.

He said that currently they are scheduled to be phased out of the Medicaid-sponsored program by the end of April.

They serve nearly 7000 low-income women in Hidalgo County with physicals, cervical and breast cancer screenings and birth control.

"There has never been a mixing of the abortion services with the wellness preventive care services," Gonzalez added.

He emphasized that Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions.

But some of their offices in the larger Texas cities are affiliated with abortion providers, so the law applies to the group statewide.

With state or federal funding uncertain, they've begun to search for other options. "We go two foundations to gives funds to serve minors 20-years-old and younger," he said.

According to Gonzalez, the $175,000 in grants could benefit up to a thousand people.

They are especially targeting younger women because they said that is where they see the greatest need.

"They don't have the funds, they're going to college, they're going to high school, they're not insured," Gonzalez explained.

As taxpayer money dries up, they said they will seek more grants and other ways to fund their programs.

Anyone interested in enrolling for some of the services covered under these grants can contact Planned Parenthood of Hidalgo County at (956) 688-3700.