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Texas Tribune: Abbott OKs Ousting Planned Parenthood From Cancer Program June 22, 2015

Abbott OKs Ousting Planned Parenthood From Cancer Program

  • June 20, 2015

A months-long effort to keep Republicans from pushing Planned Parenthood out of a state cancer screening program for low-income women ended in defeat on Saturday when Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on the proposal.

By approving the two-year state budget, Abbott green-lit a provision that will prevent Planned Parenthood from participating in the joint state-federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, which provides cancer screening for poor, uninsured women in Texas. The governor’s endorsement of the provision, which was expected, came as Planned Parenthood leaders vowed to maintain their presence in Texas despite lawmakers’ efforts to cut their funding.

“It’s really incredible how low the governor and some of the state legislators will go when you start throwing women out of cancer screening programs and making it impossible for them to continue to go get services where they have before,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in an interview with The Texas Tribune on Saturday.

In an effort to boot Planned Parenthood from the cancer program, lawmakers wrote a provision into the state budget to prohibit clinics affiliated with abortion providers from receiving funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings. Under state law, the 17 Planned Parenthood clinics participating in the program were already prohibited from performing abortions if they accepted taxpayer dollars.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the budget provision.

Planned Parenthood currently serves about 10 percent of the Texas women in the program. In fiscal year 2014, Planned Parenthood affiliates received about $1.2 million in funding and served 2,938 of the 33,599 women who received services from Breast and Cervical Cancer Services providers across the state.

Some of the targeted clinics may still receive cancer screening funding if the state is unable to find other eligible providers in certain regions.

Richards, who was in Texas on Saturday to rally against the cuts, called the ousting of Planned Parenthood from the program the “crassest example” of Texas lawmakers playing politics with women’s access to health care.

Along with about 60 protesters, Richards joined Sadie Hernandez, a 20-year-old college student who has protested outside the Governor’s Mansion in Austin for the last two weeks calling on Abbott to veto the budget measure. Also present on Saturday were state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, and former state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democrat who ran for governor against Abbott last year after gaining national attention for her filibuster of strict abortion regulations.

Cutting off the money Planned Parenthood received from the cancer screening program is a major win for Texas conservatives who have likened directing any state funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates to endorsing abortion.

Joe Pojman, executive director of anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, said the budget provision was a “big victory” for his group, which lobbied for the measure.

“We think the money is far better spent on the numerous alternative providers that are available throughout Texas,” Pojman said. “I dont think that [Planned Parenthood] will be missed at all when they leave the program, because there’s such a vast network of providers — many of whom provide a far higher level of services.”

The state budget ousting Planned Parenthood from the cancer screening program takes effect Sept. 1.

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Services provision in the budget nixes some of the last taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood received in Texas. The Republican-led Legislature in 2011 slashed the state’s budget for family planning by two-thirds in an effort to keep health providers even loosely affiliated with abortion providers, namely Planned Parenthood, from receiving state tax dollars.

Ejecting Planned Parenthood from the joint state-federal Medicaid Women’s Health Program cost the state a $9-to-$1 match from the federal government. That forced state health officials to relaunch the program as the state-financed Texas Women’s Health Program to keep Planned Parenthood out.

But some Planned Parenthood affiliates continued to receive dollars from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, which is primarily funded by federal money. In fiscal year 2014, funding for the program included $7.8 million from the federal government and $2.4 million from the state.

Richards said that despite the Legislature’s efforts to force Planned Parenthood out of Texas, her organization is working to expand its footprint in the state.

“Planned Parenthood is committed to staying in this state and providing care for the next century,” Richards said. “I think Texas has really put us to the test, and I think we’ve demonstrated we’re not going anywhere.”

Disclosure: Planned Parenthood was a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune in 2011. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/20/abbott-oks-ousting-planned-parenthood-cancer-progr/.


The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.



Dr Willie Parker Mississippi Clinic Abortion Doctor June 5, 2015

Dr Willie Parker Mississippi Clinic Abortion Doctor.


Idaho Lawmaker Wonders If Women Could Have A Gyno Exam By Swallowing A Tiny Camera | ThinkProgress February 23, 2015

Idaho Lawmaker Wonders If Women Could Have A Gyno Exam By Swallowing A Tiny Camera | ThinkProgress.


This Doctor Moved Her Clinic To The Middle Of The Ocean To Help Women Get Safe Abortions | ThinkProgress January 8, 2015

This Doctor Moved Her Clinic To The Middle Of The Ocean To Help Women Get Safe Abortions | ThinkProgress.


He’s on the right track July 5, 2014




Tampons Confiscated, Guns Still Allowed At Texas Capitol Ahead Of Abortion Vote [UPDATE] July 12, 2013

Tampons Confiscated, Guns Still Allowed At Texas Capitol Ahead Of Abortion Vote [UPDATE].


Daily Kos: Finally the American College of OB/GYN Speaks Up July 10, 2013

Daily Kos: Finally the American College of OB/GYN Speaks Up.


#NeedYourPermission – A Day of Creativity, Impact and Fun! | Liberals Unite July 9, 2013

#NeedYourPermission – A Day of Creativity, Impact and Fun! | Liberals Unite.


Ramblings July 8, 2013


Initial reaction: what the fuck am I watching?


I am so so SO not a rap person. I mean occasionally I’ll hear something I might listen to (Missy Elliot “Get Ur Freak On“, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme) but for the most part, if I hear a rap song I start to tune out and turn it off, because frankly I can’t understand it or the culture (pull your pants up, whippersnappers!!). So imagine rap from a South African group (Die Antwoord) I probably wouldn’t understand ?! Totally not my thing.


So why am I bringing this to the blog? Because you know I tend to find all sorts of oddly interesting/infuriating/perverse things out there on the interwebz and I just love to share/inform. I was reading this article about 30 young men dying due to complications in ritual circumcisions in South Africa. These circumcision aren’t performed in nice relatively safe hospitals, mind you. A group of men are taken out in the forest for a period of time and the procedure is performed with unsterilized instruments by elders with no surgical training.


It had a link to this video called “Evil Boy”. In South African culture if a young man is not circumcised he is considered an “evil boy”. Even if you can’t understand the words, this song is clearly about keeping the foreskin intact. (And, of course, it’s full of the typical rap attributes – gyrating bimbos in skimpy outfits, oversized bravado, boasting, etc. It’s also kinda filthy. Also, I thought it was a touch homophobic until I read this piece from blogger Tia Marie that delves into the issue a lot deeper. )






In the U.S. (male) circumcision seems to be one of those things that’s always been with us, that people are now reevaluating. There’s a whole anti-circumcision movement going on, that is effectively labeling it as “mutilation” with no real benefits. I don’t really have an opinion on it. I’ve never even seen an uncircumcised wiener in person, just in porn. Yes, I’ve watched porn. I know. You’re shocked, right? What? Not so much. Fine, I’m a pervert. But you already knew that. ;-)


Anyway, I was reading the comments (I should know better by now) and a lot of people were saying that they don’t see why female circumcision is considered so much worse because it’s the exact same thing. Uh … no. The consequences and aftereffects are obviously not as radical for a man. A little less sensation and a more majestic looking member? Boo-hoo – suck, it up dude. For a woman, well, it can lead to loss of sexual function, difficulty with menstruation and lifelong excruciating pain. Not to mention the emotional trauma of the procedure. All for something that’s only designed to control female sexuality. I just found an article about it being done in Japan (!). A mother took her 5-year old daughter in. After the procedure she said:



“I’m happy… My daughter is now clean” … “Many girls are getting pregnant out of wedlock these days,” she noted. “Circumcision hopefully will prevent my daughter from becoming oversexed, and will make her less amorous when she grows up.”


For some reason this male circumcision kerfuffle has me thinking of this men’s rights movement (or the whole War on Women thing), or a situation when a women’s issued or racial issue is raised and without a doubt they’ll be a ton of people saying “Well, men get raped/harassed too” or “white people get discriminated against too” or “That’s misandry!” or whatever.


Here’s my favorite part of the wikipedia entry for men’s rights movement:


Warren Farrell (men’s rights activist) states that men in the United States pay more into social security …”


Gosh, maybe that’s because, oh, I don’t know … THEY TEND TO MAKE LESS MONEY FOR DOING THE SAME WORK!?!?!





Whaaaa-whaaaa-whaaaa. Want some cheese to go with that whine?



Texas Lawmakers Too Busy Targeting Abortion Providers to Deal With Exploding Fertilizer Plants | Mother Jones July 7, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Too Busy Targeting Abortion Providers to Deal With Exploding Fertilizer Plants | Mother Jones.



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