Attorneys for Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates were in court this week to protect access to preventive health care including cancer screenings, birth control and annual exams for the 52,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Program (WHP) and cared for by Planned Parenthood.
Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) administration has made cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood a top priority and is in the midst of pushing that issue through the judiciary, regardless of the consequences to women and especially low-income women. “This case isn’t about Planned Parenthood — it’s about the women who count on us,” said Ken Lambrecht, of Planned Parenthood of North Texas. He continued:
We are confident in the merits of our case and are optimistic that the Appeals Court will maintain the District Court’s injunction, which preserves access to preventive health care services for tens of thousands of women. Governor Perry has already thrown 160,000 women off of health care for partisan political reasons. There will be more to come if this unconstitutional rule is not stopped.
Planned Parenthood works every day to keep women healthy. Given that one in four women in Texas lack health insurance, and we have one of the nation’s highest rates of cervical cancer, Planned Parenthood remains as committed as ever to continuing to care for all women who rely on us.
The attacks on public health financing is not unique to Texas–both Arizona and Ohio have made their own attempts at de-funding Planned Parenthood but so far Texas’ challenge is boldest and most defiant to date.
The Perry administration has made the argument that they will be able to create a new and functionally equivalent WHP that does not rely on Medicaid funds and delivers the same level of care to low income women in Texas. So far we’re still waiting to see if that is the case.
Photo from fibonacciblue via flickr.