The Trump administration gave another victory to mothers and babies this week when it granted a Texas waiver to defund Planned Parenthood and use tax dollars to support real women’s health care instead.
For at least a decade, Texas leaders have been trying to stop taxpayer dollars from funding the abortion industry, but their efforts were thwarted time after time by the Obama administration and lawsuits from the abortion industry.
On Wednesday, however, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reversed an Obama-era decision and restored $350 million in federal funding to the Healthy Texas Women program, The Statesman reports. The program provides medical care for low-income women, including cancer screenings, family planning, pregnancy tests, counseling and more.
In 2011, Texas defunded Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups through the program. In 2013, however, the pro-abortion Obama administration retaliated by revoking its federal funding. Since then, Texas has been using state tax dollars to support Healthy Texas Women.
Now, it will have federal funding again, too, thanks to the Trump administration waiver allowing it to defund Planned Parenthood.
“The Lone Star State is once again in partnership with the federal government to provide meaningful family planning and health services while fostering a culture of life,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
Abbott thanked President Donald Trump and his administration for approving the waiver and allowing Texans to fund real women’s health care.
According to The Statesman, the funding will help an additional 27,000 low-income women in Texas. The program served about 173,000 in 2018, the report states.
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Pro-life leaders also praised the president and Texas leaders for their dedication to protecting unborn babies and mothers.
“President Trump has repeatedly kept his promise to stop taxpayer funding of the big abortion industry including Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “When Texas lawmakers exercised their right to fund women’s health care without underwriting abortion businesses, they were punished by the Obama administration and smeared by abortion activists and their media allies.”
She pointed to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, which shows a huge increase in abortions and decreases in actual health services, including cancer screenings and prevention services, pap tests and contraception.
“Restoring Texas’s decision regarding use of federal funds is an acknowledgment that the Lone Star State was right all along,” Dannenfelser said. “We thank President Trump and [HHS Secretary Alex] Azar and urge them to immediately free all states to act on the will of their citizens to support women’s health care without encouraging abortion.”
Meanwhile, acting president of Planned Parenthood Alexis McGill Johnson slammed the waiver as “repugnant,” claiming it will hurt women’s health care.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America. Its most recent annual report recorded more than 340,000 abortions and about $500 million in taxpayer funding.
The Trump administration has been working to defund the abortion chain in various ways. In one of his first acts as president, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits taxpayer funding to groups that promote or provide abortions overseas. The change defunded Planned Parenthood’s international arm of about $100 million.
In 2019, the administration finalized a new Title X rule that requires health care entities to completely separate abortion from their taxpayer-funded services. Planned Parenthood chose to prioritize abortions, rather than continue to serve low-income women through the program, giving up about $60 million.