Once again, women’s rights are under attack. The Medicaid Women’s Health Program, a health-care program for low-income women in Texas, is in danger of losing $35 million dollars of federal funding because Governor Rick Perry won't allow any of it to go to Planned Parenthood.
This program, which funds preventative care (including cancer screenings and contraception), currently serves 130,000 women by donating to many clinics in Texas--including Planned Parenthood. None of these clinics perform abortions, but Planned Parenthood does provide this service at other locations in the state.
President Obama asserted that if Perry insists on omitting Planned Parenthood from the program, it will not get federal funding. Since that makes up 90% of the program’s funding, that means--you guessed it--that it'd be shut down.
Naturally, Perry has come under fire for his decision, and now he seems to be backtracking. At a news conference last Thursday, he said that if the program loses federal funding, the state would fund the program entirely. According to the New York Times, he explained, “This program is not going away”.
Hmm. Somehow I'm not convinced. Governor Perry has already signed a law forcing women to have an ultrasound done before getting an abortion, and slashed the state’s family-planning program by more than two-thirds.
The fabulousness that is Planned Parenthood has responded by organized the “Don’t Mess with Texas Women” bus tour. They've been traveling around the state encouraging people to show their support for women and their disapproval of recent Texas legislature. Today is the last day of their tour.
Whether or not you live in Texas, you can show your support here
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.