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It’s an extremely dangerous precedent that other states could follow.

In 2017, Congress and the Trump-Pence administration made three failed attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. On Jan. 22, the administration took another step in its new strategy to dismantle access to care piece by piece, and state by state — and your state could be next. 

How Did They Do It?

Trump just pledged $350 million to Texas’s failing, state-led women’s health program, which excludes Planned Parenthood patients. Simply put, the program — ironically named Healthy Texas Women (HTW) — is a scheme to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

In 2012, Texas chose to end its successful Medicaid-funded family planning and women’s health program rather than let patients get that care at Planned Parenthood. As a result, many people were left with nowhere to turn, either because there were no other providers in their communities, or because other providers couldn’t accommodate all of the patients served by Planned Parenthood health centers.

The state’s decision left tens of millions of dollars of federal funding on the table, despite Texas having a higher percentage of women who lack health insurance coverage — 22 percent — than any other state.

Texas then started its own state-funded “Healthy Texas Women” program, which was specifically designed to limit women’s access to health care, including care at Planned Parenthood. But ¼ of women who enrolled in the program were never actually seen by a doctor.

Since the state’s shutdown of its previous family planning program, nearly 45,000 Texas women have lost access to care — and another 39,000 have lost access to birth control. Meanwhile, the maternal mortality rate in Texas has doubled.

Tracking Trump

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The Backdoor “Defund” Scheme

Despite all this, Greg Abbott — Texas’s anti-abortion, anti-reproductive health care governor — begged President Donald Trump to give federal approval and tens of millions in federal funding for his failed and dangerous “health care” program.

Now that Gov. Abbott has the green light from the Trump-Pence administration, Texas has set an extremely dangerous precedent that other states could, and likely will, follow. In early 2018, the Trump-Pence administration released a letter that encourages states to try and block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood. 

The stakes are higher than ever. 

We have every reason to believe that anti-reproductive health care governors across the country will try to replicate Texas’s backdoor “defund” plan by trying to exclude Planned Parenthood from their state Medicaid programs. 

That’s why we need to unite and urge governors from coast to coast to reject these politicians’ attacks on our right to control our bodies and access basic health care. 

If we don’t, we could face a scary future of thousands more patients being blocked from reproductive health care across the country. 

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Tags: Texas, Medicaid, healthy texas women, family planning, Trump-Pence administration

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