Thursday, April 12, 2012

Planned Parenthood Fights Back In Texas

The Medicaid Women's Health Program of Texas provided medical care for about 130,000 low-income women in Texas each year. That program was funded by a mix of federal and state funds. About 50,000 of those women were served by Planned Parenthood. But that was before the Republican-dominated state legislature decided to play politics with women's health.

In the last session of the legislature, the Republicans rammed through a ban on providing any money to Planned Parenthood, even though none of the Planned Parenthood locations receiving the state money provided any abortions. The legislature didn't care that the state (and federal) money wasn't being used for abortions, but only for other women's health care issues. They knew it would look good to their teabagger base to cut the funds just because of the Planned Parenthood name.

Now over 50,000 women have been cut off from health care. The federal government cut off all funds going to Texas for the program because they said Texas had singled out Planned Parenthood to discriminate against, and that was against federal rules. The governor has said the state will find the money to fund the program, but so far they have done nothing -- and it is unlikely they will do so, since they have a $15 billion hole in the next biennium's budget already.

This is just another step in the Republican's war on women. That war on women is being waged nationally, but since Texas government is controlled almost exclusively by Republicans, they are waging a more effective battle against women in this state (note that Texas is also a state that requires women to be raped with a sonogram wand before being given an abortion).

Fortunately, Planned Parenthood has decided to fight back again the Republican misogynists. Yesterday they filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Texas. They are arguing that the state ban imposed against their health care program is unconstitutional. I don't know how much chance they have of winning that lawsuit, but I am glad they are fighting back.

Decent people must take a stand against the GOP's war on women -- and this action by Planned Parenthood is a good place to start. It is time to show the Republicans that women's health care is far more important than their misogynistic ideology.

1 comment:

  1. is Anne Richards daughter still president of planned parenthood?


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