July 7, 2011 — Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas are evaluating how to continue providing family planning and preventive care services to clients following passage of a state budget measure that eliminated two-thirds of funding for the state's family planning program, which provides preventive health services to low income residents, the Abilene Reporter-News reports. The cuts affect women's health clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities.
Carla Holeva, vice president of community affairs of Planned Parenthood of West Texas, said, "Now that family planning programs in Texas have been dismantled, Planned Parenthood of West Texas and other affiliates will evaluate the range of funding programs to determine which ones will help us continue providing basic, life-saving health care, including screenings for hypertension and diabetes, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer to low-income women in Abilene and West Texas." She added, "This will not be easy." Prior to the changes, about 25% of Planned Parenthood's total funding came from the government, according to Holly Morgan, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of North Texas.
Morgan said lawmakers targeted Planned Parenthood because they dislike that the organization provides abortion care. She explained that the law will require remaining family planning funds to be divvied up using a three-tiered priority system for health care providers, with Planned Parenthood on the bottom tier (Boen, Abilene Reporter-News, 7/4).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.