Judge blocks Texas from cutting off Planned Parenthood funds

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015. (KTRK)

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015.

The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks adds Texas to the list of Republican-controlled states that have been thwarted in efforts to cut off Medicaid dollars to the nation's largest abortion provider. Sparks postponed Planned Parenthood's ouster until Feb. 21. It is expected he will issue a ruling before then.

The heavily edited videos claimed to show Planned Parenthood officials profiting from sales of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood has denied wrongdoing, and investigations in 13 states didn't result in criminal charges.

Planned Parenthood says it provides non-abortion services to about 11,000 low-income women in Texas each year through Medicaid. Medicaid money isn't used for abortions.

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