January 4, 2013 — A judge's recent decision to allow Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood from its Women's Health Program "has little -- if anything -- to do with abortion and a lot to do with women's health," an Austin American-Statesman editorial states. "It should be of particular concern that the women who are likely to be left in the lurch by the decision are low-income women who have few options when it comes to getting basic medical care," the editorial adds.
The editorial continues that Planned Parenthood has been a "key player" in providing low-income women access to "basic exams, screenings for breast and cervical cancers, birth control and preventive health care." The organization "is uniquely situated among clinics, which offer broader ranges of medical care, in doing that work."
Although "[i]t is true that Planned Parenthood is a major abortion provider," it is "also true that none of the participating clinics provide abortions," the editorial notes. The editorial concludes, "Instead of trying to oust health care providers that are filling a gap, the state should be welcoming them. It's now up to the courts to maintain a crucial safety net for poor women" (Austin American-Statesman, 1/2).
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.