Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday asking him to restore federal funding for a program serving low-income women in Texas.
Pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration cut all funding to the Texas women’s health program in 2012 when the state refused to fund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. As a result, Texas created its own state-funded program to serve low-income women.
Texas leaders hope the Trump administration will consider restoring the funding so that it can help more women and families. Specifically, Abbott asked Trump to approve a 1115 waiver that would re-establish a federal partnership for the Texas women’s health program.
“As you know well, many of the Obama administration’s policies ran directly counter to these values by liberalizing the use of taxpayer funds to support abortion providers or their affiliates,” Abbott wrote. “But even worse, in some cases, the Obama administration took punitive action against states like Texas that pursued pro-life policies that did not fall in line with the administration’s agenda.
“Fortunately, the retaliatory actions taken by the Obama administration can be easily reversed. Reinstating federal funding for Texas’ women’s health program provides an additional opportunity to put those values into action, all while supporting health care access for Texas women,” the pro-life governor stated.
If the Trump administration approves the waver, Texas officials said the state would receive hundreds of millions of dollars to invest directly in Texas women’s health.
The Obama administration tried to justify the cut by claiming Texas broke federal Medicaid rules by discriminating against abortion businesses. Cindy Mann, past director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, placed the blame on Texas leaders rather than the Obama administration.
“We very much regret the state’s decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care,” Mann wrote in 2012. “In light of Texas’ actions, CMS is not in a position to extend or renew the current [Medicaid contract].”
Then-Gov. Rick Perry and Texas officials disagreed, saying rules for Medicaid allow states the right to determine the qualifications necessary for those agencies allowed to participate in the program. The program serves approximately 130,000 low-income women in Texas and provides cancer screenings, family planning and other health services to women.
“Those people that are out there trying to say, ‘Oh they’re going to kill this program’ are just dead wrong,” Perry said at the time. He said the Obama administration was “trying to support an organization that supports them. … But Texans don’t want Planned Parenthood, a known abortion provider, to be involved in this.”
Texas applied to the Obama administration for an extension of the program through 2013, with the condition that no funding go to organizations that perform or promote elective abortions or are affiliated with such organizations. Of the more than 1,000 certified Women’s Health Program providers across the state, the rule excluded fewer than 100 Planned Parenthood locations.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in the United States, performing more than 320,000 abortions on unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.