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Family Planning gets some help...

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  • Ernie Schreiber
    There is hope, even in Texas! Interesting... ... Federal Judge Blocks Texas Effort to De-Fund Planned Parenthood By Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check 01 May 12
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 10:53 AM
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      There is hope, even in Texas! Interesting...

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      Federal Judge Blocks Texas Effort to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

      By Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check

      01 May 12

      federal judge today blocked the state of Texas from de-funding Planned
      Parenthood affiliates in the state, and excluding them from participating in
      Texas's Women's Health Program (in Texas). Last year, the legislature passed
      and Governor Perry later signed a bill that included provisions excluding
      Planned Parenthood affiliates from the program, for the stated reason that
      while Texas PP affiliates participating in the Women's Health Program do not
      provide safe, legal abortions, they are related to an organization that
      does.

      Currently more than one-quarter of Texan women are uninsured. Forty percent
      of those who receive care through WHP chose to rely on a Planned Parenthood
      health center for their basic primary and preventive reproductive health
      care, including access to breast and cervical cancer exams, birth control,
      testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, and
      sexual health education and information.

      On April 11, Texas Planned Parenthood family planning providers filed suit
      against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in federal
      court, contesting the exclusion from WHP. In his ruling today, according to
      Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "Judge Lee Yeakel agreed... that
      the new rule is likely unconstitutional because it bars them from
      participating in the Women's Health Program based on their affiliation with
      legally and financially separate entities that engage in constitutionally
      protected conduct related to abortion."

      The exclusion of Planned Parenthood clinics from WHP, part of a broader
      assault on funding for women's health in the state, was already affecting
      individual Texas women. Last year, Governor Perry eliminated two-thirds of
      the budget for women's preventive health care from the state budget. As a
      result, more than 160,000 low-income women were left without services. The
      exclusion of PP affiliates would have affected at least another 130,000
      women.

      While the Perry Administration claimed that such services would be "made up"
      by funding by the state to other clinics, the source of the funding amidst
      so many other cuts was never made clear and has not materialized.

      Moreover, the capacity, location, and ability of other clinics throughout
      the state to absorb hundreds of thousands of new clients has been
      questionable at best. Last year, RH Reality Check reporter Andrea Grimes
      personally surveyed clinics throughout the state attempting to find those
      that could provide easy access to services such as pap smears and found that
      most such potential "replacement" clinics were not as accessible on any
      number of levels as Planned Parenthood clinics, and often were not equipped
      to provide the same services. Earlier this month, Grimes profiled Cristina
      LuQuis, a low-income woman in Texas who was trying without success to
      navigate -- or, perhaps, more accurately even find -- the "new system" that
      was supposed to replace the services she had received from Planned
      Parenthood.

      Extrapolate from one individual to millions of women in Texas and the
      implications of such cuts are dire. Women in Texas, for example, already
      face the third-highest rate of cervical cancer in the United States.

      Still, Texas officials suggested that they would rather end the entire
      Women's Health Program, eliminating basic, preventive health care for more
      than 100,000 low-income women, than have Planned Parenthood continue to
      participate in the program.

      Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Texas affiliates celebrated the
      decision.

      "Tens of thousands of Texan women enrolled in the Women's Health Program
      rely on Planned Parenthood for lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams,
      and access to birth control. For many women, we are the only doctor's visit
      they will have this year," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned
      Parenthood Federation of America. "This ruling affirms what women have known
      all along: politics simply doesn't have a place in women's health."

      Texas advocates issued a challenge to Perry:

      "We call on Governor Perry and the state to put Texan women first and set
      aside any vendetta they may have against Planned Parenthood," said Patricio
      Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County. "No woman
      should ever have to fear being cut off from her doctor's care because of
      shortsighted political games."

      "Legal action is always a last resort, but the state and Governor Perry's
      actions gave us no other option," said Gonzales. "The health and well-being
      of our patients is our number-one priority. We hope that this decision will
      allow us to continue our lifesaving work of providing high-quality health
      care and cancer screenings to some of Texas' most vulnerable women."

      Regards,
      H. E. (Ernie) Schreiber
      EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
      Discussion List Server at: <eunacom@yahoogroups.com>




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