Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas are still operating as normal, providing women’s health services to those who fall in the cracks between Medicaid and private insurance at rates they are able to afford, but the organization admits it is not sure how long operations can continue as a funding ban in the large state of Texas looms.
Planned Parenthood, a nationwide provider of women’s health services, has existed for decades, but, in the lead-up to the election of 2012, it has emerged as a sort of battleground spot for lawmakers, a convenient prop in the larger-scale disagreement of what taxpayers should and should not be obligated to fund and whether an individual’s moral beliefs should factor into funding of major health care providers.
The Planned Parenthood crisis brewing stems from a decision by a federal court to allow Republican lawmakers to cut the organization’s funding through the Texas Women’s Health Program due to the fact that the organizations perform abortions. Sixty Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas serve more than 130,000 women across the state, providing access to essential services including birth control, well care checkups, STD testing, prenatal care, mammograms, and pregnancy terminations.
Of Planned Parenthood’s impending funding cuts, which are expected to deliver a hopefully-temporary blow to the organization, 25-year-old patient Rene Resendez explained to the Houston Chronicle that the all-but-certain Planned Parenthood shutdowns mean the end of guaranteed necessary care for her if she cannot find another clinic:
“I feel like the state is taking away that choice where I feel the most comfortable, and forcing me to start over at another clinic … Planned Parenthood provides more services than just abortion and this boils down to women’s health and ensuring that low-income people like myself can still have health care.”
“They don’t have to worry about going to get pap smears or contraception services to help them decide when they want to have a family … and yet they are the ones making the decision [about funding Planned Parenthood.]“