As Mitt Romney sets his sights on the November 2012 presidential election one of his key tasks will be to repair his image with women voters after a relentless attack on their access to health care. He’ll have to do that while at the same time offering a vision of what women’s health care in a Romney administration would look like.
As it turns out, we already have a pretty clear picture of what women’s health care in America would look like under a Romney administration: Texas.
Both Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) share the same extreme and dangerous views on women’s health care. Both want to eliminate funding for family planning services and prevent groups like Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care to women. What Perry has implemented in Texas Romney would push across the country.
As it stands more than one-quarter of the women in Texas are uninsured. Women in Texas have the third highest rate of cervical cancer in the country. How did Perry respond? By eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and costing his state millions in federal Medicaid dollars.
These drastic measures by the Perry administration have caused independent family planning providers, federally qualified health centers, and hospital systems in Texas to speak out against Perry’s anti-woman policies because they simply do not have the capacity to absorb the patients who used to rely on Planned Parenthood for their care.
Now imagine that problem on a national scale. And imagine that problem compounded by additional attacks on health care reform the Republicans have promised will come in a Romney administration.
Since the Republican victories in November 2010 they have pushed so-called “personhood” amendments that would criminalize most forms of birth control, they have attacked Planned Parenthood and other comprehensive family planning service providers from participating in family planning programs, and they continue to attack the Obama administration’s birth control benefit.
When you think about it, the only good thing Gov. Rick Perry has done is give us a peek into what women can expect if a Republican takes the White House.
Photo from gage skidmore via flickr.