How much does Texas hate poor women? $700 worth each

Not happy to simply not fund Planned Parenthood clinics that perform abortions (more on this later,) Texas plans to cut off all state funding for the women’s health organization in their state.

Court Paves Way For Texas Planned Parenthood Cuts by Wade Goodwyn for NPR News, Aug. 27, 2012

Officials in Texas say they will cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood following a federal court ruling last week. The decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the state can defund the health clinics because Planned Parenthood is associated with abortion.

Planned Parenthood warned that the cuts threaten access to health care for more than 50,000 poor women. But many Texas officials cheered the decision, which could reverberate to other states targeting the organization.

The reason this is really scary is that Planned Parenthood is the easiest and often only health care option for too many poor women–particularly in rural areas.  But Texas is like the Honey Badger, it don’t give a shit.  It is more important to score a symbolic victory over a legal medical procedure than worry about those 50,000 women.  But the effects will likely be felt far more than just those women:

In the past, federal courts have ruled that states can’t defund Planned Parenthood clinics just because they affiliate with abortion providers, on the grounds that it violates Planned Parenthood’s right to free speech and free association, as well as federal regulations.

To get around this obstacle, Perry decided to forgo federal funding, even though the federal government pays 90 percent of the cost, approximately $35 million, of the Texas Women’s Health Program.

That’s right.  Texas, the state with the highest percentage of uninsured citizens, would rather forgo $35 million in federal funding for women’s health than see an organization associated with abortion perform non-abortion related procedures. Do the math, and that means that Texas is willing to spend $700 per poor woman to deny them health care.

While on this topic–it pisses me off that states and the federal government are routinely willing to create work arounds to try to ensure that public money is not spent on a LEGAL medical procedure.  My tax dollars are routinely spent in any number of ways that I find to be morally repugnant, but I don’t expect the government to carve out exemptions and exclusions to placate me.


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