Stream by stream, Texas legislators are working to cut off all funding to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
NPR Austin reports state lawmakers will return soon for a special legislative session, and Gov. Greg Abbott, a pro-life Republican, has a new defunding plan for their consideration.
There often are multiple funding streams from which taxpayer dollars flow to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. Finding and cutting off all of the streams can be a long process, but Texas lawmakers have been working systematically to cut off every taxpayer dollar.
Abbott’s proposal, one of 20 for the special session, would block taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers through cities and counties, according to the report.
Joe Pojman, executive director for Texas Alliance for Life, said cities and counties in Texas still are allowed to make contracts with abortion groups using taxpayer dollars. He said these contracts even could directly fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
He pointed to the city of Austen as an example; the city currently has a contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex education and STD prevention. While the taxpayer money does not directly go to abortions, money is fungible; and any tax money that goes to an abortion group frees up other money for their abortion business.
As Pojman explained to NPR:
Even if the contracts are for services other than abortions, Pojman said, he takes issue with taxpayer funding going to Planned Parenthood in general.
“That means the taxpayers of Austin or anyone who comes to Austin and purchases any kind of item and pays sales tax is essentially funding Planned Parenthood, which is the largest provider of abortions in Texas,” he said.
Canceling Austin’s contract with Planned Parenthood could lead to more health problems, opponents argue. One of the current contracts between the city and the nonprofit pays for a program that teaches teenage women how to reduce their risk of getting HIV or STDs – and avoid unintended pregnancies.
Perhaps no state in the nation has been as aggressive as Texas and attempting to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Texas lawmakers have been employing just about every tool at their disposal to ensure that Texans are not on the hook for funding the nation’s biggest abortion company.
In May, Texas officials took another step forward by asking the Trump Administration to affirm a new unprecedented effort to defund the abortion giant.
Texas previously was successful in preventing millions of taxpayer dollars from going to the Planned Parenthood abortion company by withholding state dollars through the Medicaid program. Texas created an alternative to fund family planning and legitimate healthcare efforts that did not involve the abortion business.
In May, the Guardian newspaper obtained a letter in which Texas officials asked the Department of Health and Human Services to fund that program so it can continue to be an alternative to funding Planned Parenthood. As the newspaper reports, leading abortion advocates are upset by the move.
To help women and children, lawmakers redirected funding to state health facilities, including pregnancy centers and maternity homes. In the spring, Texas lawmakers set aside $20 million in the budget for the state Alternatives to Abortion program.
The program provided free assistance to more than 131,000 women between 2006 and 2015. It offers free maternity and baby clothing, food and furniture, temporary shelter, referrals to community agencies and medical resources, as well as pregnancy and parenting classes, job skill training, mentoring, adoption information and more.