MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 24, 2012

Judge: Oklahoma can end Planned Parenthood deals


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal judge on Monday denied a request by Planned Parenthood to temporarily block Oklahoma from terminating a contract with the agency to provide nutritional services to low-income mothers.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot ruled that although the state’s stated reasons don’t seem to be sufficient cause for ending agreements with Planned Parenthood’s three Tulsa-area clinics that have been in place for 18 years, the group’s response to the state’s concerns was insufficient enough to warrant ending the relationship.

The decision will likely mean that the group will have to close one of the clinics and eliminate six full-time staff positions when the contracts end on Dec. 31, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s President and CEO Jill June said in a statement.

“We are truly disappointed with today’s court ruling and the impact it will have on the women and children in the Tulsa area who have relied on Planned Parenthood for (the federal Women, Infants and Children program) and the many other services we provide,” June said. “While we are convinced of our claim, we will weigh all our possible options going forward.”