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.
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 new study finds that without Planned Parenthood “tens of thousands of low-income Texas women could lose access to affordable family planning services and to other women’s health services.” Meanwhile, the State of Texas is trying to make up for a provider gap it has contended didn’t really exist.
A new New England Journal Of Medicine study finds that 53 clinics in Texas have closed as a result of cuts to family planning programs, with dismaying results for the health of women.
On Tuesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry stopped by to lend a little good-old-boy masculinity to the opening of a branch of Houston’s The Source For Women, a crisis pregnancy center that Perry touted as the future of Texas’ new Women’s Health Program–a program explicitly designed and intended to serve women who are not, and don’t want to be, pregnant.
If Texas excludes Planned Parenthood from participating in its new state-funded “Texas Women’s Health Program,” 1,748 clients in one city alone–Austin–will have to find new health care providers. That means existing providers, some of which currently see just one or two patients a year, will have to take on about 60 new patients each, even as they deal with a 66 percent cut in overall family planning funding.