Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood

Last Thursday I posted about how Ohio has written a Medicaid work-around for defunding Planned Parenthood. Well that little strategy was copied (almost word-for-word, I suspect a lobby writing this and giving it to congressepeople) in recently signed Texas legislation. Rick Perry signed, late Tuesday, SB 7 (various format download), which is a huge piece of legislation overhauling health care access/payments/etc within the state of Texas. Buried in that is distribution for family planning services (pages 90 & 91 in .pdf format):
SECTIONA1.19. (a) Subchapter A, Chapter 531, Government Code,is amended by adding Section531.0025 to read as follows:


(a)Notwithstanding any other law, money appropriated to the Department of State Health Services for the purpose of providing family planning services must be awarded:

(1) to eligible entities in the following order of descending priority:

(A) public entities that provide family planning services, including state, county, and local community health clinics and federally qualified health centers;
(B) nonpublic entities that provide comprehensive primary and preventive care services in addition to family planning services; and
(C) nonpublic entities that provide family planning services but do not provide comprehensive primary and preventive care services; or

(2)as otherwise directed by the legislature in the General Appropriations Act.

(b)Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the Department of State Health Services shall, in compliance with federal law, ensure distribution of funds for family planning services in a manner that does not severely limit or eliminate access to those services in any region of the state.

(b) Section 32.024, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:

(c-1) The department shall ensure that money spent for purposes of the demonstration project for women’s health care services under former Section 32.0248, Human Resources Code, or a similar successor program is not used to perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.
As I noted in the Ohio post, Planned Parenthood is not a "federally qualified health center". Here are Texas' numbers (via Guttmacher):
•In 2006, 158 family planning centers in Texas received support from Title X. They included:

Health department clinics: 32
Community health centers: 16
Planned Parenthood clinics: 31
Hospital outpatient clinics: 24
Other independent clinics: 55

•These centers provided contraceptive care to the following numbers of clients:

Health department clinics: 29,020
Community health centers: 12,480
Planned Parenthood clinics: 78,490
Hospital outpatient clinics: 41,170
Other independent clinics: 59,080
They want to take away funding for all of the clinics and over 78K+ people will lose their health care center. How many people are employed that will lose their jobs because PP in Texas has to close clinics? Rick Perry, by the way, is toying with the idea of a presidential run.


In somewhat related news, this is a week of heightened harassment for people who work helping women:
...Operation Save America has about 300 people from throughout the country picketing this week at various sites of clinics, physician offices and homes of people with connections to providing abortion services.
Yes, that's right. They're outside people's homes with signs and bullshit just like they do at clinics.

March 10th was National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day but this week seems like a particularly good week to say thanks, again, to those who work every day to provide health care services to women in the face of threats of violence and continual harassment at their work places--and at their homes. To the doctors, the nurse practitioners, the midwives, the nurses, the medical assistants, the office staff and administrators, and the volunteers: Thank You.

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