Texas Forced to Admit Cutting Family Planning Funding was a Bad Idea
In a policy shift that should surprise no one (except right wing politicians), the state of Texas has been forced to backtrack on their move to de-fund women’s health care and family planning. In eliminating $73 million of family planning funding, the Health and Human Services commission has projected that “over 20,000 unplanned births are on the horizon for women in poverty on Medicaid, at a $237 million cost to taxpayers.”
Again, this isn’t news to anyone that can do simple math. The more a state restricts access to women’s health services that include contraceptive access and family planning information, the more babies will result. While the original move was intended to “defund the ‘abortion industry,’” it actually delivered a devastating blow to low income women with few to no other options across the state of Texas. In finally arriving at the conclusion the rest of us have known since the beginning, Texas politicians finally appear to be backtracking.According to the New York Times:
Several state senators have suggested earmarking $100 million in general revenue to the Community Primary Care Services Program, to be used for women’s health services. The program contracts community health clinics and nonprofit organizations to provide a range of services for poor Texans who do not qualify for other state health programs. The additional money could increase the number of patients served annually in the program to 234,000 from 64,000 and nearly double the number of participating health care organizations, to 100 from 57, according to the Department of State Health Services.
While this still isn’t an ideal reality for women in Texas, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s a shame that it took financial hardship to get the attention of Republican lawmakers (you know, rather than the actual plight of women lacking access to adequate health care).