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For Now, Planned Parenthood Remains in Women's Health Program

State health officials are working to figure out when they'll exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program. Meanwhile, the affiliates plan to continue services.

Rebecca Rankin, a family nurse practitioner, is the lead clinician at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Edinburg.  Rankin has worked with Planned Parenthood for 15 years.

One day after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to side with Texas and overturn a temporary injunction that allowed Planned Parenthood clinics to remain in the Women's Health Program, a spokeswoman for a Planned Parenthood provider said that the affiliates involved in the program are "still in the WHP."

Planned Parenthood had filed a lawsuit in order to stay in the Women's Health Program. Tuesday's court ruling overturned the injunction, pending a district court hearing in the fall.

"This situation is developing, and we are exploring all of our options," Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla wrote in an email. She said Tuesday's court ruling has caused confusion for tens of thousands of low-income women who are Planned Parenthood clients. 

"We are reassuring them that they can still come to us and that we will do anything we can to protect their access to preventive health care." 

In an emailed response to The Texas Tribune, Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said her agency is working with Attorney General Greg Abbott's office "on the next steps. We'll move to enforce state law banning abortion providers and affiliates as quickly as possible."

Goodman wrote that no date has been set, but they hope to have that information available soon. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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