Saturday, July 14, 2012

Texas Women's Health Program is Destroyed

On Wednesday, March 14, 2012, The Texas Independent published an article titled Rule excluding Planned Parenthood from Medicaid program takes effect today.

Today is a big blow for low income women of childbearing age. The Texas Women’s Health Program has been destroyed by Governor Rick Perry. In an attempt to attack Planned Parenthood because they perform abortions, Perry no longer allowed the clinic to be an option for the Women’s Health Program. This is in violation of federal law, and now Texas has lost 90 percent of its funding for women’s health. The most ridiculous aspect of this attempt to prevent abortions is the fact that the federal and state governments strictly prohibit the funds to be used for abortions!

I find this negligent move by the governor to be a slap in the face for all struggling low income people who want to be responsible but can’t afford it.  The fact that $74 million dollars have already been taken away from family planning funding in Texas, makes me wonder if Perry has any concept of cause and effect! How is it that they want to eradicate abortions, but they are leaving 290,000 women in Texas without access to health care and birth control.  The type of environment a child grows up in can define the rest of their life. Is it right to allow an additional 20,000 unplanned pregnancies a year in this state because of someone’s poor judgment and extremist beliefs?


I’m not for or against abortion because every person’s situation is different. If it is this state’s intention to eliminate abortion, they must make logical decisions and not turn their back on those who need them most. The great state of Texas should not be satisfied with more than half of its newest and most vulnerable citizens being unplanned.



5 comments:

Krista Gollihar said...

This is by no means intended as an official assignment or critique, but I have say: what an incredibly well-written article you've produced here. (yours, not the citation; though that was nice as well).

And I could not agree more with your position. Regardless of one's personal political ideologies, Texas is at best inconsistent and at worst incoherent in terms of public policy. As you pointed out, we bankrupt family planning services while condemning abortion. We seem to make it as difficult as possible for women--particularly those of lower income--to access even the most basic preventative measures, and then chastise these same women for later needing government assistance to support the children she couldn't afford in the first place.

What I think many whom argue against this type of social spending fail to realize is this: we pay for it either way. While Planned Parenthood is hard-pressed to acquire even $1 of state or federal assistance (for a whole host of services), I've yet to hear many politicians champion doing away with Medicaid... (Not even Perry, who wanted to do away with the EPA, the Dept. of Education, and... um... um... ?)

Anyway, it seems to me this goes only one of two ways: (a) tax payers assume the costs of not just bringing an unplanned child into this world (the birthing alone typically runs in the neighborhood of $16k in a traditionally hospital, if I'm not mistaken), but also numerous subsequent years of health coverage by way of WIC and/or Medicaid; or (b) we absorb the upfront costs of providing simple birth control measures to those who seek it. Just considering the birthing alone, we're looking at $16k vs. $500(-ish) annually. I always hear people argue that it isn't our "responsibility" to pay for women's health as it relates to sexual activity, but we pay for it NO MATTER WHAT - and it's a hell of a lot cheaper paying it forwards rather than backwards...

Btw, if you're a champion of women's health, there is a chapter in Gail Collins' book that the professor linked in our reading list (As Texas Goes...) that evaluates the state of sex education in Texas. It's enough to make your head spin.

Tiana R. said...

Thanks Krista for reading and giving such a great review. I agree with everything you mentioned, and I can't help but laugh at the fact that if college kids can figure this why can't our elected officials? I checked out your blog, and I have to say I highly respect that you quoted from two of my role models(The great Carl Sagan, and Neil Degrasse Tyson.) Our generation needs to have real role models not so call stars!

Krista Gollihar said...

Darn, totally just saw this! You need a little "subscribe by email" button or something! Guess it's a little late for that suggestion though, huh? :) And I could not agree more about the role models... Indeed, all the WORLD ought to absolutely WORSHIP both of those gentleman, in my entirely irrelevant opinion :)

And in case I don't speak to you again between now and next week, I've enjoyed your blog. Nicely done. Take care!

kristagollihar said...

Darn, totally just saw this! You need a little "subscribe by email" button or something! Guess it's a little late for that suggestion though, huh? :) And I could not agree more about the role models... Indeed, all the WORLD ought to absolutely WORSHIP both of those gentleman, in my entirely irrelevant opinion :)

And in case I don't speak to you again between now and next week, I've enjoyed your blog. Nicely done. Take care!

kristagollihar said...

Darn, totally just saw this! You need a little "subscribe by email" button or something! Guess it's a little late for that suggestion though, huh? :) And I could not agree more about the role models... Indeed, all the WORLD ought to absolutely WORSHIP both of those gentleman, in my entirely irrelevant opinion :)

And in case I don't speak to you again between now and next week, I've enjoyed your blog. Nicely done. Take care!