Oklahoma’s health department has terminated an 18-year contract with Tulsa-area Planned Parenthood clinics to provide food aid to low-income women and children through a federally supported program, reports the Tulsa World.
Three of the four Planned Parenthood facilities in Tulsa participate in the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, which funds food vouchers for needy pregnant women, new mothers, and children under age five. Jill June, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, contended the ouster is politically motivated and said it could force the three clinics to close.
Several states have moved to restrict women’s health and family-planning funds to Planned Parenthood because it also provides abortion services. A ban in Texas is set to take effect Nov. 1, although it remains subject to legal challenges.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health denied the cut-off was related to abortion politics, saying the Planned Parenthood clinics have seen declining caseloads, use questionable billing practices, and cost more per WIC participant than other local providers, the World also reports.
Planned Parenthood units in Oklahoma do not perform abortions but do provide referrals for abortion services.