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.
Over the past several months, RH Reality Check Senior Political Reporter Andrea Grimes traveled to Texas’ Rio Grande Valley to meet some of the Texans who are most affected by HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion law that is expected to shutter all but six abortion clinics in the state. Watch Grimes’ video dispatch from the Valley.
The Texas senate health and human services committee met on Thursday to tout newly expanded funding to family planning services, but critics say they have a long way to go.
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.
The Texas Republicans who defunded Planned Parenthood and kicked the provider out of the state’s low-income women’s health program are now trying to fix their mistake with a benefit concert.
This is the first year the program has operated without Planned Parenthood—which was kicked out of the Medicaid Women’s Health Program last year—and entirely on the state’s dime, without federal assistance.
Last week, the Texas Health And Human Services Commission disabled the problem-riddled online provider search function on its Texas Women’s Health Program website, which has, for months, directed low-income women seeking pap smears to call endoscopy clinics and pediatric offices.
In two new lawsuits in Texas, Planned Parenthood continues its fight against exclusion from providing publicly funded family planning care, arguing that Texas doesn’t have the authority to keep it out of the new, state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP) or to implement the program’s “poison pill” clause which would close the TWHP down entirely should a court allow Planned Parenthood back into the program.
Penny wise and pound foolish, Texas now has to find a way to pay for all the births brought on by family planning cuts.
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.