Health program losing federal funds, clinics

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Many clinics involved in a Texas health care program for low-income women won't be able to serve those patients starting this week under a state law aimed at abortion-affiliated groups.

The Women's Health Program provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care to about 130,000 patients. Participating clinics can't offer abortions, but a law taking effect Wednesday will cut off clinics with any affiliation to abortion providers, even if it's just a shared employee.

That includes Planned Parenthood clinics treating about 44 percent of the program's patients, who will have to find new doctors.

Federal officials say the law violates Medicaid rules, so they're phasing out funding that covers 90 percent of the $40 million program. Gov. Ricky Perry says he'll save the program, even if it increases Texas' deficit.


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