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Texas Women’s Health Services in Sharp Decline Thanks to Anti-Planned Parenthood Crusade

Texas Women’s Health Services in Sharp Decline Thanks to Anti-Planned Parenthood Crusade

Written by Sy Mukherjee

Women are getting significantly less health care services through Texas’ Women’s Health Program thanks to the state’s successful push to de-fund Planned Parenthood, the Austin Chronicle reports. After a year-long quest, Texas officials finally managed to de-fund Planned Parenthood at the beginning of 2013, blocking off federal funding for the Women’s Health Program and shuttering many of the state’s reproductive health clinics.

The Texas Women’s Health Program has processed only 77 percent of the total claims for family planning and reproductive health care in 2013 as it did during a comparable period last year, according to data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The program helps hundreds of thousands of low-income Texan women afford medical services like pap smears, pregnancy tests, and STI screenings. Maddow Blog’s Steve Benen illustrated the decline in this chart:

Texas officials were ostensibly trying to prevent women from using Planned Parenthood because of their opposition to its abortion services — even though abortions constitute just three percent of the care that Planned Parenthood provides and do not qualify for federal funding.

The cuts to family planning services have forced women’s health clinics, including those that are unaffiliated with Planned Parenthood, to close down in rural areas with a high number of poor women on Medicaid. As many as 200,000 low-income women in Texas have already lost or are expected to lose access to birth control, cancer screenings and other critical preventative care thanks to the cuts.

Women’s health advocates aren’t particularly surprised that Texas and Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) anti-Planned Parenthood vendetta has resulted in less services for women. “To score political points, Perry dismantled this program and dictated where women could receive their exams and birth control,” said Sarah Wheat, vice president for community affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, in an interview with the Austin Chronicle. “Texas women lost access to cancer screenings and annual exams, and the taxpayers lost federal funding and savings from this program – that is what happens when politics drives public health.”

Perry also recently signed legislation that bans women from receiving abortions after 20 weeks and could shutter 90 percent of the state’s abortion clinics.

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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5:26AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

destroy the wrong wing tealiban gross old pharts in 2014. MIDTERM VOTE "EM OUT!

Let's get this nation back on course and stop letting ignorant, self-serving, holier than thou ass holes try to drag us back to the dark ages!

5:12AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Y'all are acting like Planned Parenthood is the ONLY place to get health care for women. The don't even own a Mamogram machine, they only refer you to somewhere else for that.

9:07PM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

Kinda like cutting off nose to spite face. Health issues are between dr. and patient and has nothing to do with a dishonest, self-serving politician.

12:12AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Should have let Texas secede back when they asked, then none of this would be happening - hindsight. Problem is that it isn't just happening in TX...

11:31AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

Thanks for the article. A very disturbing one though.

11:04PM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Thx ...

12:31PM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Texas is messed up.

7:04AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

The antiabortion movement running rampant in this country is led by the GOP, who are supported by the idiots who continue to vote them into office. Is anyone surprised that this is happening? They say they're concerned about women's health care and yet it's women they are hurting most.

10:58PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

what would Will Rogers observations on Texan GOP machinations be...?

10:08PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

This disturbs me

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