Texas Sends Family Planning Funds to Abortion Alternatives

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2011   |   5:55PM   |   Austin, TX

Texas Republicans voted for amendments to their budget bill today that send money meant for family planning efforts to better causes, including funding abortion alternatives.

The move follows on the heels of a vote in Congress to cut the federal family planning budget because money goes to the Planned Parenthood abortions business, and their own figures show they provide abortions almost exclusively to pregnant women as opposed to legitimate medical and other health care services for women carrying to term.

Texas lawmakers in the state House today approved, on a 100-44 vote, an amendment Rep. Randy Weber sponsored that takes $7 million in family planning funds and directs the money to abortion alternative agencies. Another $1 million from the budget would head tow programs that provide early childhood intervention.

Only Democrats voted against the amendment to help pregnant women but  state Reps. J.M. Lozano (D-Kingsville), Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco) and Sergio Muñoz Jr. (D-Palmview) also voted for diverting the money to women.

The House also approved an amendment from Republican Rep. Wayne Christian that cuts the family planning budget $6.6 million and sends those funds to pay for services for children with autism. A third amendment struck more money and the three amendments in total moved $27 million out of the family planning budget to what lawmakers say are better causes that will help save lives and protect children.

The debate leading up to the vote became person at times, with Rep. Mike Villarreal, a San Antonio Democrat, asking Weber whether or not he has personally used contraception. The pro-life lawmaker responded by telling Villarreal he didn’t know him well enough to share that information — which drew laughter from the chamber.

The cuts in Texas follow a national expose’ from Live Action, which called 30 Planned Parenthood centers across the country and learned that none of them have mammogram machines or actually do mammograms on site. All of them merely make referrals to legitimate medical centers that provide women with the breast cancer screening service.

After concerns earlier this year that Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards made false claims in defending its taxpayer funding that it provides mammorams for women, Live Action released videotaped footage of calls to 30 Planned Parenthood centers nationwide in 27 different states where abortion facility staff were asked whether or not mammograms could be performed on site. 

Every one of the Planned Parenthood centers admitted they could not do mammograms. Every Planned Parenthood, without exception, tells the women calling that they will have to go elsewhere for a mammogram, and many clinics admit that no Planned Parenthood clinics provide this breast cancer screening procedure.

“We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” admits a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona while a staffer at Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kansas tells a caller, “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics.”