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Elections & Politics

Court Allows Texas to Block Women’s Access to Health Care

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 01.11.13
“Women are counting on us — and we will fight for them,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund says
 
New York — Despite the desperate need for affordable, accessible preventive women’s health care in Texas, today a Texas state court allowed Governor Rick Perry to disqualify Planned Parenthood from providing affordable birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and STI testing for low-income patients through the Texas Women’s Health Program.  Federal courts have blocked similar efforts in Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee and instead sided with the patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers.

Following is a statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“For nearly 100 years, women and families have trusted Planned Parenthood health centers for high-quality, affordable health care and information.  Governor Rick Perry should not be able to decide which health centers a woman can go to for birth control, well-woman exams or cancer screenings.  Women are counting on us to protect their access to cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care, and we will fight for them — no matter what.  We are exploring every possible option to protect the health of women in Texas.

“This case isn’t about Planned Parenthood — it’s about the women who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for basic care every day.  Ending funding for birth control, annual exams, or cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood would hurt the millions of American women and families that rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for health care.  That is why women and men in Texas and across the country strongly oppose attempts to deny funding to Planned Parenthood health centers, and will fight with us to ensure Planned Parenthood health center doors across America are open today and open tomorrow.” 

BACKGROUND
  • Nearly three million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers every year — not to make a political statement but to get high-quality, affordable health care.
    • Planned Parenthood health centers see two million patients for birth control, conduct nearly 585,000 breast exams, and provide nearly 4.5 million STI tests/treatments annually.
    • One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.
    • More than 90 percent of the services Planned Parenthood health centers provide are preventive (cancer screenings, STI tests, birth control, etc.).
  • Federal funds cannot be used for abortion services at Planned Parenthood health centers.  In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde amendment, which forbids federal funding for abortion under the Medicaid program.  The only exceptions are in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the woman.
  • Family planning programs save money nationwide.  For every $1 spent on family planning, $3.74 is saved.  
  • A majority of Americans recognize the fundamental role that Planned Parenthood preventive health care services play in keeping women healthy.  Recent polling research shows support for federal funding for Planned Parenthood was a key factor in support for President Obama in the November election. 
    • On the issue of providing federal funding to Planned Parenthood health centers to pay for preventive health care such as cancer screenings and breast exams, voters were more likely to vote for Obama by a 22 percentage point margin (49 to 27 percent).
    • Women favored Obama by a 31 percentage point margin (54 to 23 percent) on this issue.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.