Friday, July 19, 2013

What happens in Texas when Planned Parenthood clinics get defunded

Dateline March 13, by Mother Jones. Keep in mind that this is data showing up from the funding reductions passed by the state legislature two years ago.

About a year after Texas slashed its family-planning budget by two-thirds, with 50 clinics shutting down as a result, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project surveyed 300 pregnant women seeking an abortion in Texas. Nearly half said they were "unable to access the birth control that they wanted to use" in the three months before they became pregnant. Among the reasons: cost, lack of insurance, inability to find a clinic, and inability get a prescription. The state's health commission says Texas will see nearly 24,000 unplanned births between 2014 and 2015 thanks to these cuts, raising state and federal taxpayer's Medicaid costs by up to $273 million.

In a state where half of all pregnancies were unplanned in 2011, and 1 in 3 women of childbearing age lacks health insurance, this is only going to get worse.

Again, this isn't new information; it was posted last spring in order to influence the recently-concluded abortion restrictions legislation that Rick Perry signed into law yesterday. In that wake, Planned Parenthood announced three clinics would close in East Texas (only one actually provided abortion services). But seemingly unsatisfied with that result, Texas Republicans are going back for more.

Hours after Texas Republican lawmakers finalized some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country Thursday, a bill to ban abortions as early as six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, was filed.

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, filed House Bill 59, which would ban abortions “if it has been determined… that the unborn child has a detectable heartbeat.” North Dakota is the only other state to pass ‘fetal heartbeat’ legislation, and it is being challenged as unconstitutional in court.

More at Burnt Orange and Think Progress. This probably means another round of rallies at the Capitol, followed by a few arrests, some authoritarian displays of force conducted by the state police, and a party-line vote by the legislators. Maybe a lawsuit... eventually.

All we can do for the moment, in short, is simply document the atrocities. Oh yeah, and mobilize opposition for 2014.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

What else will happen, as reported in the NYT and Tribune, is that on the border, more women are going to go to Mexico and get one-half of the drug pair that makes up RU-486.

Rather than have medical complications from this, Planned Parenthood needs to look at working with Mexican drs and clinics to get them to prescribe the full RU-486, to help them financially if Texas clinics are going to go on hiatus, etc.