Abortion activists tried to lobby pro-life Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week to give taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.
KHOU News reports the abortion activists delivered thousands of letters and petitions to Abbott’s office Monday urging him to give taxpayer dollars to the abortion chain and criticizing a new state women’s healthcare program.
The Healthy Texas Women program, which began in 2016, provides women’s health and family planning services at no cost to low-income Texas women. Abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, cannot participate in the taxpayer-funded program because groups must adhere to the state policy favoring childbirth and must not provide abortions, according to the report.
Abbott’s administration recently submitted an application for federal Medicaid dollars to help fund the program, NPR in Austin reports.
Abortion activists are worried that if President Donald Trump’s administration approves the application, other states would follow Texas’s lead and create similar programs to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.
Here’s more from NPR:
Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of the political arm of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said if the federal government approves Texas’ application, it could open the door for other states to create similar programs.
“It really opens a huge can of worms that could be very destructive,” she said.
Sarah Wheat, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, criticized the pro-life lawmakers’ plan, arguing that Texas women are struggling to access health care under the new program.
“The number of women that get served today through these programs is not what it used to be,” Wheat said. “And studies, public health data, continues to show, women really have a hard time accessing the health care they need in Texas, especially uninsured, low-income women.”
Wheat did not specify what types of health care services women are having a difficult time accessing, but she may have been referring to abortion. Lately, abortion activists have been coupling the words “abortion” and “care” to deceptively claim women will lose access to important health care services if Planned Parenthood is defunded. The main “care” Planned Parenthood provides is aborting unborn babies. And it has refused to give up abortions to focus instead on providing real health care to women.
The Healthy Texas Women program says it has expanded family planning services in Texas by offering things like prenatal care, something most Planned Parenthoods do not provide.
With the additional Medicaid money, the program hopes to increase Texas women’s access to health care even more. Goals include expanding family planning services to avert unintended pregnancies, increasing early cancer screenings, reducing maternal mortality and increasing preventive care for common problems such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
The Healthy Texas Women program also supports pro-life pregnancy organizations that support mothers and babies in Texas. In 2016, the Heidi Group, a pro-life organization run by Carol Everett, received $1.6 million from the new program to help women and babies in rural areas, the Associated Press reports.
According to the AP: “State health officials have said the new program will have roughly three times as many providers as five years ago. It offers contraception, pregnancy testing and counseling, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those under 18 will need a parent’s permission to qualify.”