Planned Parenthood Wrong About Obama-Texas Funding Battle

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2012   |   7:55PM   |   Austin, TX

The head of a pro-life legal group in Texas says Planned Parenthood is misstating the facts when it comes to the battle between Texas’ decision to de-fund the abortion business and the Obama administration’s possible decision to cut a woman’s health program.

The Obama Administration, not the Texas Legislature and the Governor, will be responsible for killing the Women’s Health Program (WHP) if the Obama Administration denies Texas’ application for renewal of the program because Planned Parenthood is excluded under state law, says Linda Schlueter, President of Trinity Legal Center.

At stake is healthcare for low-income women and states’ rights. The Obama Administration is threatening to cut off the Women’s Health Care Program (WHP) for over 100,000 Texas women at over 2,400 providers for the sake of Planned Parenthood, which provides only limited health service at 44 facilities in Texas.

Last year, Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature took action to assure better health care for low-income women, prioritizing WHP funds for providers that do not perform abortions and are not affiliated with abortion centers. WHP funds provide services to at least 70 health providers in the San Antonio metro area, whereas only seven Planned Parenthood receive the funds.

“Women will receive better care as a result of Texas law that passed overwhelming during the June 2011 special session,” Schlueter said. “Women can see physicians who provide comprehensive primary and preventative care; whereas, at Planned Parenthood they usually only see a physician if they have an abortion.”

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood cannot treat breast cancer, does not offer prenatal care, or does not have mammogram machines, Schlueter said.

“In effect, the Obama administration is sacrificing women’s health to make sure Planned Parenthood gets at least $17 million in taxpayer funds, regardless of their inability or unwillingness to provide more comprehensive care,” Anne Newman, Director of Communication and Policy for Trinity Legal Center. “This is an effort to support Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation’s multi-billion dollar abortion industry, which has recently come under intense controversy and criticism across the nation.”

Texas has applied for renewal of the program which makes it clear that the Legislature and Governor want the program to continue.

“Planned Parenthood has mounted a disingenuous media campaign across Texas to discredit Governor Perry and mislead the public into believing that Governor Perry is at fault.  If Texas’ application for renewal of funds is denied, it will be the sole responsibility of the Obama Administration,” Schlueter said.

The Medicaid Women’s Health Program provides preventative health care to over 100,000 low-income women in Texas every year.  The program is up for renewal and will expire on March 31, 2012 if an extension is denied by the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration has threatened to deny renewal of the WHP if Texas does not fully fund Planned Parenthood, according to a December 12, 2011 letter.

Texas has applied for renewal of the program.  This makes it clear that the Legislature and Governor want the program to continue

In press release dated December 12, 2011, Governor Perry stated in part: “I strongly urge the administration to do the right thing and grant this waiver, so Texas women can access critical preventative health services, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, rather than making them pay the price for its pro-abortion agenda.”

There are over 2,400 qualified providers of the Medicaid WHP in Texas; only 44 Planned Parenthood facilities currently receive the funds.

Schlueter points out that Planned Parenthood of San Antonio operated four abortion facilities illegally without a license for as long as four years. They were discovered and fined more than $100,000 by the State and required to return hundreds of thousands in WHP Medicaid funds in 2009. Planned Parenthood of El Paso abruptly closed in 2009 and was found to have engaged in Medicaid fraud.