Planned Parenthood: More Low-Income Babies, Less Contraceptive Use In Wake Of Texas Closures

Patricia Ramirez - Author
By

Feb. 5 2016, Updated 1:24 p.m. ET

The State of Texas has been decimating access to Planned Parenthood clinics within its borders. Since 2011, Texas has been working concertedly to eliminate its citizens’ access to Planned Parenthood, and the state has severely restricted citizens’ ability to seek out family planning services in the process. In 2011, Texas cut grants for family planning services by 66 percent, reports the Los Angeles Times. The remaining money was also funneled away from Planned Parenthood and similar establishments, with most of the funds still available being diverted to public health departments and more comprehensive clinics.

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Texas continued its assault on Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the first round of financial cuts resulted in the closing of 82 family planning clinics within the state’s borders, roughly one-third of them having some affiliation with Planned Parenthood. While the move was, at the time, reported as an attempt to divert public funds from being used to pay for abortions (already illegal), not every Texas legislator believed this to be the case. One representative, Wayne Christian, believed the move to have broader implications.

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“Of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about.”

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The next round of financial attacks on family planning providers in Texas took exclusive aim at Planned Parenthood. In 2013, Texas took steps to circumvent laws that prevented the state from diverting Medicaid funding, which comes from the feds, away from Planned Parenthood. Because federal law prohibited the State of Texas from taking the federally funded Medicaid dollars away from Planned Parenthood, Texas got rid of it and replaced it with a state-funded healthcare program instead. The Texas Women’s Health Care Program was born, and it allowed the state to withhold funds from any family planning clinic with ties to an abortion provider.

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