Mayor Turner fights for ability to partner with Planned Parenthood

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is pushing back against a state proposal that would ban cities from entering into legal contracts with Planned Parenthood and other private organizations that provide abortion services.

In a letter to state lawmakers, Turner raised concerns that the proposal would negatively impact cities' efforts to combat public health crises like an outbreak of Zika, HIV or other STDs.

Turner cited an example in Scott County, Indiana, which experienced an HIV outbreak following the closure of a local Planned Parenthood health center. After that outbreak, then-Governor Mike Pence revised his public health policies to help quell the outbreak.

"This legislation could be devastating to our cities, where many residents already face daunting challenges in accessing affordable and quality healthcare," Turner wrote. "Local elected officials...understand the best local resources to respond in a crisis. We should not wait until a crisis to learn this lesson."

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