Health program losing federal funds, clinics

Associated Press

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% 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% of the $40 million program. Gov. Ricky Perry says he'll save the program, even if it increases Texas' deficit.