Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Judges pass the buck on women's cancer screening

Austin – The legal establishment left it up to a former Georgetown judge to rule that poor women will not be allowed to get cancer screening at Planned Parenthood clinics because of the organization's pro-choice stance on birth control and abortion.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood
Former District Judge Gary Harger refused to grant a temporary restraining order against a law that takes effect today that precludes the state-funded Women's Health Program refusing to pay for cancer screening and other reproductive health care.

The pleading is part of a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood on behalf of Marcy Balquinta, a McAllen woman who complained that her economic status forces her to choose between buying gas and groceries, or paying for routine exams and tests for uterine and ovarian cancer.

The Texas Legislature has forbidden tax funds to be spent on the practice of abortion. The stricture has been extended to include funding other forms of women's reproductive health care by clinics that engage in the practice of terminating pregnancies.

Melanie A. Linton, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast vowed her clinics will continue to provide health care to women who have a low income in spite of the ruling.

Judge Harger is a visiting judge who hears cases throughout the Third Administrative Judicial Region. He is a board-certified family law specialist who serves as a judge in special cases and as a mediator.

Planned Parenthood was founded by an activist named Margaret Sanger who advocated legalized termination of unwanted pregnancies. Ms. Sanger opened the first women's reproductive health clinic in Brooklyn in 1916. As a result of the organization's providing abortions, a court sentenced her to serve time in jail.

Today, the non-profit medical service claims to perform about 300,000 abortions yearly, which is estimated to be three percent of its medical service. Cancer screening and reproductive health maintenance makes up 35 percent of its medical activities. The organization obtains almost all its funding from government programs.

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