OK, first article I see in today’s paper, and why it pisses me off:
- Texas has successfully defuned Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas. Their propaganda point has consistently been “we don’t want tax dollars going to abortions.” However, it has been consistently reported that we already do not allow tax money to go to abortion services, and NONE of the PP clinics in the state funding program offered abortion services. From the article: “Lawyer Pete Schenkkan said Planned Parenthood officials will decide whether to press ahead with that trial in hopes of winning a permanent injunction that would reverse Texas rules excluding Planned Parenthood’s health clinics because they are affiliated with other Planned Parenthood groups that provide abortions or promote abortion rights.”This was *always* the issue—simply punitively punishing the clinics because they have a “PP” shingle over the door. It was never about keeping funding from going to abortions—that was an outright falsehood propagated to gain public support for the action.
- PP had to demonstrate two points in court. According to the judge, they were able to demonstrate that what the state was doing would harm women in Texas. What they didn’t show is that Texas didn’t have a legal right to do it. From the article: “Planned Parenthood, Yelenosky ruled, met only one of two legal hurdles when it showed that being excluded from the health program would probably cause harm to the organization and the low-income women it serves. However, he added, Planned Parenthood failed to show that it would likely prevail in a full trial on its claim that state law doesn’t give Texas officials the authority to exclude the organization from the program.”
- Texas had tried to say that other clinics will take up the slack for PP, but here is what the local paper found when they tried to set up an appointment with another clinic:
“An American-Statesman spot check of 29 of 186 doctors and clinics listed in an area 30 miles around Austin found eight that weren’t participants or weren’t accepting new patients and two that offered only limited services.”“For example, a state health department website, intended to direct low-income women to participating health care providers, contains numerous mistakes, including practices that don’t provide contraceptive care.”Please note that women with a good income won’t be very impacted by this—only women who don’t have much in the way of resources. Imagine you’re poor, and rely on public transport (which sucks in Austin), you have a clinic you’re already set up with, and then you’re told Texas is just shutting it down for no good reason. Then you call and call and call, and can’t find a clinic taking new patients, and when you do make an appointment, you show up and they can’t renew your birth control prescription, because they don’t offer those “services.”
The state does offer a phone number (866-993-9972) to help match women with clinics—but this is ALL so unnecessary. And as a result, fiscally, Texas now has to make up for federal funds we’re losing by doing this stupid, stupid thing.
- So, this morning when they said we need another bond package to pay for road improvements, I wanted to slap someone. If we don’t have funding to take care of necessary infrastructure improvements, is it really wise to pass legislation to punitively punish a clinic that is keeping to your rules, just to appease your religious base of constituents? Well, if you’re Rick Perry, the answer to that question is “of course.” “At the urging of Republican Gov. Rick Perry, Texas launched a state-run, state-financed Women’s Health Program on Jan. 1 after almost a year of unsuccessful efforts to remove Planned Parenthood from a program that had been 90 percent funded by the federal government. U.S. officials cut off that money on Dec. 31, saying efforts to exclude Planned Parenthood violated federal law on Medicaid spending.”
- When people ask me why I’m an active atheist and why I care about religion so much or what other people believe—this is why. If you care and want to do something about this, consider a donation to Planned Parenthood.