The Texas Senate Republican Caucus says that a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine about women’s health services in Texas is “misleading” and “excludes major facts” about services in the Lone Star state.
The study entitled “Effect of Removal of Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Program,” is funded in part by the Susan T. Buffett Foundation. The foundation is a major supporter of Planned Parenthood, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
The authors of the study researched only the years 2011 through 2014 and the Texas Senate Republican Caucus says this does not reflect the fact that women’s health clinics in Texas have doubled since 2014, and tripled from 2011 through 2015. They also overlook programs in Texas that deliver women’s health and planning services and focus only on Planned Parenthood and their affiliates.
The additional services in Texas being provided include the Department of State Health Services’ Family Planning Program. It served 55,869 women in 2014. The study also ignored the Expanded Primary Health Care Program (EPHCP) which served 147,083 women in the same year. The senate caucus says that “This exclusion is most egregious because this is the program into which the state funneled an additional $100 million during the 2013 legislative session.
Senate GOP Caucus Chairman, State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) told Breitbart Texas that Texas women, and all Texans, deserve to know the truth about the Texas state budget and what it provides for Texas women.
“The Texas Senate Republican Caucus was unanimous in saying that based upon our research, this is a biased study funded by a foundation which supports Planned Parenthood,” Bettencourt said. “The truth is that spending in the Texas state budget for women’s health is at an all-time high of $285 million. That’s a lot given the budget increase was just 1.8% a year for the entire budget so $50 million means something.”
The Senate Republican Caucus Chair said Senator Jane Nelson’s (R-Flower Mound) budget provides for nearly three times the number of clinics than before the Texas legislature changed it in 2013. Bettencourt added, “The liberal elites just can’t stand Planned Parenthood not being one of these clinics funded by the state.”
In a statement received by Breitbart Texas, Texas Senate Committee on Finance chair Jane Nelson said, “This biased study overlooks the huge investments we have made in women’s health and discourages women from signing up for the services.”
During the Texas 84th legislative session in 2015, the overall budget for women’s health clinics in Texas was increased by $50 million to $285 million. Every Republican senator in Texas voted in favor of this increase.
Senate Committee on Health and Human Services chair Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) said, “The people of Texas have made it perfectly clear they don’t want their tax dollars supporting abortion in any way, shape, or form.”
“Just because Planned Parenthood disagrees with that position doesn’t change the fact that the Texas Legislature is funding women’s health services at record levels and working with a larger network of providers than ever before,” he continued.
Access to women’s health care in Texas has been a hot political issue used by Democrats as a false narrative to promote their pro-abortion and pro-Planned Parenthood agendas and anti-Republican rhetoric.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the United States Supreme Court has decided to hear a lawsuit claiming that a Texas law unconstitutionally limits access to abortion in the state. The court granted certiorari review of a challenge to provisions of Texas House Bill 2 (HB 2).
Former Governor Rick Perry signed HB 2 into law in July of 2013. The questions before the U.S. Supreme Court pertain to two provisions that Texas lawmakers say are designed to improve the quality of care for women and to improve the sanitary conditions of surgical centers used to provide for women’s health services.
One of the provisions being challenged requires that abortion facilities comply with the standards already in place for ambulatory surgical centers. A second provision requires practitioners who perform abortions at the clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the facility. Medical experts have previously testified that the requirements are reasonable and effective measures intended to improve the standard of care for women undergoing abortion procedures and to ensure women’s health and safety.
Opponents challenging the Texas law argue that the measures are designed to limit abortions by limiting women’s access to abortion clinics.
In November, after the revelation of the gruesome videos filmed at various Planned Parenthood facilities in the country, including Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston, Texas, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issued an order banning the abortion provider from participating in Medicaid programs, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price.
In conjunction with the HHSC letter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative program designed to provide even greater protections for children in the womb, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The initiative also aims at preventing the sale of baby body parts. Part of Abbott’s initiative calls for new legislation to be enacted by the next session of the Texas legislature.
The services available to Texas women can be found on www.healthytexaswomen.org. The website has links where women can find clinic locations and apply for state services.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2