Thursday, August 27, 2015
Ending funding for Planned Parenthood in Texas will increase not decrease abortions and decrease healthcare
What services does Planned Parenthood provide?
• Annual exams that provide screening for cancer (cervical and breast), high blood pressure, and other chronic health conditions.
• Birth control—and not just the screening and education and prescribing of it, but the ability to buy it at deeply discounted rates.
• Testing, treatment, and prevention education for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
• A substantial portion of HIV services in Texas prisons.
• Treatment for early-stage cervical cancer and precancerous conditions.
• Educational programs. Planned Parenthood educators provide age-appropriate, medically-accurate sex education to schools, youth groups, and scouting troops. They also provide continuing education for a wide range of health and medical professionals, members of the clergy, teachers, social workers, and others in care-giving professions.
But can’t other clinics provide these services? Journalist Andrea Grimes famously called clinics across Austin listed as alternate providers when the state legislature slashed women’s health funding. Her investigation proved that the list of “available” providers included labs that did not provide any care, clinics that did not accept Medicaid patients, clinics that did not provide well-woman exams, and a small handful of clinics that in theory, provided the care, but in actuality, did not have appointments available for months.
Has it improved? I searched the state website and called three providers ostensibly available in a 30-mile radius of my home. I got no answer at one, no available appointments at the second, and a single available appointment 9 weeks from now at a third. I stopped calling.
What about abortion—does he at least do what he says and end funding for abortion? There is no federal or state funding for abortion in Texas. There has not been since the mid-1970s. Abortion is hard to access in Texas, but when people do get abortions, they generally pay cash.
The laws that have gone onto the books restricting how clinics can provide care are what limit access to abortion. Defunding Planned Parenthood services that are not abortion will not do anything to stop abortion.
- Adapted from Andrea Greer article at Burnt Orange Report