How did one Texas legislator get the state Department of Health Services to enact requirements on abortion care that failed to pass even the Texas legislature? Documents show the answer is simple: he just asked. Yet despite inquiries, the DSHS can not justify many of the requirements and seems not to have thought them through.
A federal judge today blocked the state of Texas from de-funding Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state, and excluding them from participating in Texas’ Women’s Health Program (WHP).
As the State of Texas and Planned Parenthood take their fight for the Women’s Health Program to court, Texas women are left wondering where they will get the health care they need–and when. This is just one woman’s story out of 130,000.
When clients come to the Downtown Planned Parenthood Clinic in Austin, Texas, they’re coming to get what they’ve always gotten: contraception, cancer screenings and STI tests. But what they’re getting, if they’re on the newly defunded Medicaid Women’s Health Program, is bad news: Planned Parenthood can’t see them any more.
It is incredibly frustrating that the very women the federal Medicaid law is intended to protect are the ones who are hurt the most, but those sanctions are the only tool HHS has at its disposal to enforce the law.
What will it look like to have no federal Women’s Health Program in Texas? That’s what the state department of Health and Human Services began figuring out last week when Governor Rick Perry and Texas lawmakers opted to cut Planned Parenthood out of the Women’s Health Program in the state.
My name is Rene, and I am graduate student. I am also on the Women’s Health Program (WHP). Many of the women on the WHP are college students like myself, trying to better their lives with a higher education. We shouldn’t have to choose between paying for a cancer screening and paying our bills while we’re trying to further our education.
What will it take for Texas women to use our voices and our votes to protect poor women’s health care, roll back restrictive and onerous abortion regulations, and gain back control of our bodies, our lives, and our daughters’ futures?
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Texas lawmakers, as many as 400,000 Texas women will have no or greatly reduced access to basic preventative and reproductive health care beginning today.
When Virginia legislators first began considering a forced trans-vaginal ultrasound bill, progressives wondered: “What kind of world are we living in, when “informed consent” is tantamount to state-sanctioned rape?” Here’s what kind of world: the kind wherein a mandatory ultrasound law scads worse than the proposed Virginia bill has already been in place for five months. In Texas. And right now there may be no feasible legal way to stop it.