Texas Sends $1.6 Million That Went to Planned Parenthood to Pro-Life Group to Help Women

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 12, 2016   |   9:42AM   |   Austin, TX

Low-income Texas women are receiving a helping hand from a new program created with the taxpayer dollars that used to go to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

Texas lawmakers kicked the abortion chain out of the program in 2011 and stopped it from receiving taxpayer dollars. Now, the funds are being used to provide quality health care to low-income women across the state.

The Heidi Group, a pro-life organization run by Carol Everett, is set to receive $1.6 million from the new Healthy Texas Women program to help women in rural areas, the Associated Press reports.

Everett, a former abortion business owner and now a strong pro-life advocate, said many women in rural Texas do not have easy access to quality health care. Through its new state contract, the Heidi Group will help to fill the gap for women and their families, she said. Their contract begins in September.

Texas Planned Parenthood officials already complained about the new contract, calling it “hard-earned tax dollars in support of their anti-abortion agenda,” the AP reports.

However, state officials called the pro-life organization’s proposal “one of the most robust of any of those who applied for the grants.” Everett added that her organization will not push ideologies; instead, it will serve rural, low-income women in more than 40 counties by ensuring that they have access to quality health care.

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“Too often financial needs keep women from that annual well-woman examination,” the Heidi Group said on its website. “The State of Texas has plans to help every low-income woman with that annual visit to the physician at no cost. … The Heidi Group exists to assist women with the situations of life, starting with their health.”

Along with pregnancy resources, the Heidi Group’s website also has a hotline women can call to find a local women’s health provider. Because of Texas lawmakers’ commitment to the right to life, those health care providers no longer include abortion facilities.

When Texas lawmakers cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, abortion activists claimed that the cuts would reduce women’s access to health care. However, state officials told the AP that the new Healthy Texas Women program will expand access for women across the state.

According to the AP: “State health officials have said the new program will have roughly three times as many providers as five years ago. It offers contraception, pregnancy testing and counseling, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those under 18 will need a parent’s permission to qualify.”

In 2015 when Gov. Greg Abbott eliminated another source of taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, John Seago of Texas Right to Life told LifeNews: “Over the last seven years, Texas Right to Life has successfully spearheaded efforts to defund the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood from taxpayer dollars in Texas.  In every budget cycle, tens of millions of dollars have been redirected to health care programs that serve a broader spectrum of clients with a wider variety of services that do not include abortion.”

De-funding Planned Parenthood has made an impact on unborn babies’ lives, too. Between 2012 and 2013, Texas abortion numbers dropped by almost 4,500, according to the latest state report. Since 2008, abortions in Texas have dropped by almost 20,000.