It's been a tough year in Texas for women's health care and the attacks keep coming. First, politicians gutted the state's family planning programs leaving more than 300,000 women without basic, preventive health care. Then Governor Perry rejected the successful Medicaid Women's Health Program (WHP)-- which carried a $9 to $1 federal to state match --because he couldn't exclude Planned Parenthood. Now, Perry has proposed a new completely stated funded Women's Health Program with no federal match that will exclude Planned Parenthood as well as other providers. His plan will deny tens of thousands of Texas low-income women access to vital health care.
The Health and Human Service Commission's proposed new rule bans Planned Parenthood and other providers from the new state Women's Health Program. The rule limits the advice and services a family planning provider can provide inside and outside the scope of the new Women's Health Program.
Not only does this new rule violate constitutionally protected freedom of speech laws but it bars a provider from referring a patient for abortion in any circumstance.
The Women's Health Program is intended to provide birth control and health screenings to women who do not qualify for other government funded family planning programs--but who would qualify for Medicaid prenatal and delivery care if they were to become pregnant. It was not intended to be used as a platform for ideological rhetoric threatening women's access to health care in the process.
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of care in the Medicaid Women's Health Program and nearly half of the women who received services through the program rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for their health screenings and exams.
Banning Planned Parenthood from any Women's Health Program and eliminating providers will have a devastating impact on a woman's ability to receive care.
Help us protect family planning services and Texas women's health by sending the message below to HHSC.
Protect Women's Health
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am urging the HHSC to reject the proposed rule that would ban Planned Parenthood and other providers from providing care through the new state run Women's Health Program. This proposed rule threatens the health of tens of thousands of Texas women who rely on Planned Parenthood and other providers as their trusted providers of choice.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]