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Rick Perry ensures that his state is the last in the nation for health care access, says Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Today, Governor Rick Perry announced that Texas will not comply with key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – provisions that are critical to expanding access to affordable care to those Texans who need it most, particularly Texan women.  With this announcement, Texas becomes the largest state to reject implementation of both the insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid.

Perry’s proclamation provides just another illustration of what the entire country would look like under Mitt Romney, who has also made clear that he is willing to play politics with women’s health. 

“There is no good reason for any state to deny increased access to health care coverage to women and families who need it most.  As the governor of the largest state to make this pledge, Rick Perry is ensuring that Texas will continue to be last in the country in health care access,” says Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “This decision will have devastating consequences — and what’s even worse, Mitt Romney wants to do the same in all 50 states.  What Mitt Romney and Rick Perry clearly don’t understand is that these are economic issues, particularly for women voters who are paying very close attention to this election.”

Last year, Texas drastically cut its family planning funding and slashed access to care for an estimated 160,000 Texan women, the same way Mitt Romney has pledged to do on a national scale for the nearly five million women who rely on the national family planning program.  Now, the state is trying to deny more women the health care they need by taking Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Women’s Health Program, and Mitt Romney has pledged to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood on a national level, cutting access to cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care that nearly three million people rely on annually. 

Romney also pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade, and opposes coverage of birth control without co-pays, which would deny millions of women and families access to the affordable care they need. 

As a leading advocate for trusted providers of women’s health care across the nation, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand how critical these reforms are for American women.  Medicaid so often makes the difference between access to cancer screenings and birth control or going without.  Recent studies have shown that women with Medicaid coverage are more likely than uninsured women to have received a Pap test in the last two years.  The Medicaid expansion would cover 1.8 million new Medicaid enrollees by 2019 in Texas alone.