Rick Perry: Obama Putting Abortion Over Women’s Health

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2012   |   6:04PM   |   Austin, TX

Texas Governor Rick Perry, the former Republican presidential candidate, has a new oped in the Fort Worth newspaper in which he criticizes pro-abortion President Barack Obama for jeopardizing a state women’s health program because he is upset the state pulled funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

In the Fort Worth Star Telegram, he writes:

President Obama’s administration plans to cancel funding for a long-standing and cost-effective health and wellness program for more than 100,000 Texas women. This move will cut off access to screenings for breast and cervical cancer, hypertension and diabetes, STD testing and family planning services for Texas women who otherwise could not afford them.

Unfortunately, Obama and his allies are once again putting their political agenda ahead of sound policy and the delivery of cost-efficient healthcare. They are trampling on the rights of states like Texas to create programs like the Women’s Health Program and to administer it for Texans by Texans.

Why would the Obama administration take away access to healthcare for low-income Texas women? Because this administration puts funding for abortion providers and affiliates ahead of funding for women’s cancer screenings and other preventative healthcare. Texas, operating under the direction of an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of legislators, prohibits abortion providers and affiliates like Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer money.

Because Texas refuses to fund abortion providers and their affiliates, the federal government has announced that it will cancel the Women’s Health Program. To me, this reflects a twisted set of values, not to mention a continued disregard for the basic concept of states’ rights.

Under federal law, Washington leaves it to state leaders to administer the Medicaid program and set criteria for who is, and is not, a qualified provider. Consistent with state and federal law, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) developed a program that would ensure continued access to care by qualified providers across Texas and asked the Obama administration for approval.

However, the Obama administration apparently is unwilling to allow the exclusion of organizations like Planned Parenthood, as Texas law requires, even though that organization represents less than 2 percent of enrolled providers. Texas has more than 2,500 qualified providers in 4,600 sites across the state, ready to deliver care.