Here’s the real story you won’t hear from the politicians who just last week met to talk “legislative achievements in women’s healthcare”: Texas women are facing a health-care disaster at the hands of a small and extreme group of politicians.
Republican lawmakers had hoped in 2011 that their family planning funding cuts would force Planned Parenthood to stop providing health care in the state; instead, the data shows that a wide variety of family planning clinics have shuttered.
Planned Parenthood closed two West Texas clinics within a few days of each other last week, citing its inability to sustain the rural clinics in Texas’ anti-choice climate. Meanwhile, the state Planned Parenthood affiliate received a gift from the foundation of conservative former presidential candidate Ross Perot.
A federal appeals court, on which sits a judge that Rush Limbaugh counts on his “team,” has refused to re-hear arguments against Texas’ barring of Planned Parenthood from participation in its Women’s Health Program.
Texas can move forward with excluding Planned Parenthood clinics from its health program for low income women while a lawsuit challenging the law moves forward.
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.