A Big Texan Mistake: The Decision to Drop Planned Parenthood

Anna Casasco ’19
Contributing Writer

Texas just made a big mistake. A few days ago, health officials from this state decided to cut Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program due to a controversial video released by an anti-abortion group. The video shows workers at Planned Parenthood’s Houston location altering the abortion process of preserving fetal organs, which would usually be donated for research, however, the video showed “private citizens” touching fetal remains while only wearing gloves. Planned Parenthood has denied these claims and said that the heavily-edited videos reflect a biased standpoint in outlawing abortion.

Planned Parenthood does not receive any taxpayer money to perfom abortions because of the 1976 Hyde Amendment created by Republican congressman Henry Hyde. This law states that federal funds may not be used to pay for abortions unless the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape or necessary to save the life of the mother. Medicaid has covered 2,258 people’s visits to seven Planned Parenthood locations in Southern Texas, the majority of which were for cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and gynecological care.

With Texas cutting Planned Parenthood from the state Medicaid program, all of these resources will vanish. Ninety-seven percent of the taxpayers’ money allocated to Planned Parenthood goes toward sexually transmitted disease testing, contraception, cancer screening and other women’s health services — only three percent go towards abortion services and just one out of every ten clients receives an abortion.

So the decision of Texas officials to cut Planned Parenthood is, without doubt, a regrettable one. This decision will do nothing but hurt women’s health services. This is not only an attack on those who are pro-choice, but rather an attack on women. Removing health plans and support provided by Planned Parenthood does nothing but hurt the women who are not able to afford private healthcare plans and receive the same treatment. If I lived in Texas, I wouldn’t be able to obtain my birth control.

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Texas in San Antonio Jeffrey Hons summed the gravity of the situation, saying, “This is a mean-spirited political extension of those horrible videos that have been thoroughly discredited nationwide, and they’re using the poorest of the poor women in Texas as pawns in this political game. It’s shameful.” I agree whole-heartedly.

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