On Monday a measure was passed by the Texas House and Senate that would both defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and pressure the Obama administration to change Texas’s Medicaid program to a block grant. The measure allows the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to grant family planning funds based on a tiered priority system that places Planned Parenthood last. While the measure does not completely defund Planned Parenthood, by placing them in third tier with other family planning providers, it aims to exclude their clinics from Texas’s family planning program.
The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) suggests that this measure will deny 300,000 women their basic healthcare and lead to 20,000 more unplanned pregnancies, potentially costing taxpayers $231 million. President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Trust of South Texas Jeffrey Hons believes that the defunding will have only negative results, including “more abortions, and more families who will look to government for public assistance. There is nothing smart here. This is bad politics winning over wise policy.”
In early June when Texas Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) signed into law the state’s new budget, funding for family planning programs was cut from $111 million to only $37 million.
Media Resources: Planned Parenthood of North Texas 6/27/11; Politico 6/27/11; The Huffington Post 6/28/11