Planned Parenthood files suit to keep WIC services
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Friday, November 09, 2012
11/09/12 at 5:44 PM
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court to stop the State Department of Health from discontinuing the organization’s WIC services at the end of the year.
In late September, the State Department of Health decided not to renew its WIC contract with Planned Parenthood.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood said then that she thought the decision was politically motivated, but the Department of Health denies this.
Officials cited the program’s relatively high cost per participant and decrease in case loads, as well as faulty billing practices as the reason for the contract termination.
The Women, Infant and Children program provides aid to low-income women who are pregnant or have recently given birth, as well as to children younger than 5.
Planned Parenthood, the largest independent provider in the Tulsa area, has three clinics in the area with WIC services. They see about 3,000 WIC visits a month, according to the organization. Those clinics will continue with their other operations.
The contract was ended Sept. 30, but the health department gave an extension until the end of the year.
“Planned Parenthood has been a trusted WIC provider for nearly two decades — but this case isn’t about us, it’s about the Oklahoma women and families who count on us,” Planned Parenthood staff attorney Tamya Cox said in a statement. “Politics should never interfere with a woman’s access to health services — or food for her children.”
A spokeswoman with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said officials had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
Read more in tomorrow's Tulsa World.