Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)-After a long legal battle between the State of Texas and Planned Parenthood, hundreds of Rio Grande Valley residents will have to look for a new provider in less than 30 days.
Earlier this week, the Texas Department of State Health Services sent a letter to Planned Parenthood, telling them their Medicaid patients needed to find new health care providers by February 3rd.
“We think this is unconscienceable of the governor to do this in the middle of a pandemic. People that are on Medicaid represent our most vulnerable population and it’s simply an outrage that this is happening now.” said Mara Posada, Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood South Texas.
The decision comes after a November ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, giving Texas the right to exclude Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid Provider.
“It’s not easy to find a new provider, and that is part of the challenge. Patients have less than 30 days now to go and find another provider, when we know there is a shortage right now of providers in our state, so it’s already a stressed system.” said Posada.
Known as a expert in sexual health, Planned Parenthood offers critical services to men, women, and children. They offer cervical and testicular cancer testing, STD testing and treatment, birth control, and fertility assistance among many other services.
Planned Parenthood even offers same day appointments on occasion, and offer different payment options, making sure patients who need services don’t shy away because of cost.
Planned Parenthood is urging those who use Medicaid and need services before the February 3rd deadline, visit one of their offices.
“Were going to continue to be here for Texans, who rely on us and were going to find a path forward, because we will not let these politicians stop us.” said Posada.
The organization says they have a great team of legal experts who are reviewing all options.