Posted: Sep 4, 2012 5:34 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2012 5:34 PM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) State lawmakers, hospital system administrators and dozens of women have urged Texas officials not to sever state funding to Planned Parenthood.
A smaller, but no less vocal, number of people opposing abortion turned out to applaud the move during Tuesday's emotionally charged public hearing.
Officials are working to exclude Planned Parenthood clinics as part of the Texas Women's Health Program after the Republican-led Texas Legislature passed a law last year banning funds to organizations linked to abortion providers.
Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings and other services to about half of the around 130,000 low-income Texas women enrolled in the program.
The federal government had funded 90 percent of the program. But it says the Texas law violates federal rules and that it will stop funding Nov. 1.
Texas has vowed to continue the program on its own.
State Rep. Donna Howard, an Austin Democrat, said at the hearing that abortion was a moot point since Women's Health Program rules exclude women who are pregnant.