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Terrifying Timeline of Texas' Attacks on Women's Health

Texas’ maternal mortality rate is the highest in the United States, and unmatched by any other industrialized country. Tens of thousands of women have been left out in the cold without birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive care after the state cut off funding for reproductive health care and care at Planned Parenthood. Behind the numbers are real women who cannot get the health care that should be their right, and who are suffering and dying as a result.

This is how Texas became dangerous for women.

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January 2, 2005: 

First, there was the State Family Planning Program...and then the Medicaid Women’s Health program

This program provided breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive health care to people in Texas with low incomes or without insurance. The program received funding through federal grants. 

In 2005, Texas partnered with the federal government to expand access to preventive health and family planning services for women with low incomes through this program.

March 1, 2005: 

Republicans take away $10 million

Texas's Republican-led legislature redirected $10 million away from health care providers like Planned Parenthood to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which served thousands fewer women — and might not even offer reproductive health care. 

September 1, 2005: 

More funding redirected to services that "promote childbirth"

Texas created the Alternatives to Abortion program, diverting $5 million away from a program that helps families with low incomes into Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) — centers that don’t believe in giving you honest facts about pregnancy and all of your options. CPC patients were prohibited from getting referrals to abortion providers.

January 1, 2007: 

More bad news: the Women's Health Program launches

Texas established the Women's Health Program (WHP), a Medicaid waiver program that received most of its funding from the federal government. This program was a success — until the state started taking steps to dismantle it.

Planned Parenthood served 40% of patients in the program.

February 1, 2011: 

Texas adopted a rule that excluded Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program.

Nearly half of the women in the program relied on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, birth control, and other basic health care.

May 19, 2011: 

Texas passed a bill requiring ultrasounds for women seeking safe, legal abortion and counseling designed to make women feel ashamed for their decision. 

The state of women's health gets even bleaker. Plus, unless a woman lives more than 100 miles from any abortion provider, she was required wait 24 hours before having the procedure and make the trip twice as part of the 24-hour forced delay.

September 1, 2011: 

Texas slashes family planning by two-thirds

Texas slashed funding for the state’s family planning program by two-thirds. They also implemented a tiered funding system that excluded family planning providers like Planned Parenthood.

September 27, 2012

More than half of Texas family planning health centers affected

Researchers reported many family planning health centers in Texas have closed or reduced hours. This also meant that tens of thousands fewer women would get care.

November 11, 2012: 

Women's Health Program gets a new name

WHP became "Texas Women's Health Program." This was a Medicaid 1115 family planning waiver program — a type of program that gets funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Texas got a LOT of federal funding through the waiver. For every $1Texas spent on the program, the federal government pitched in $9.

January 1, 2013: 

A new era of harm ushered in for women's health

In an effort to keep excluding Planned Parenthood, Texas lawmakers walked away from $40M in federal funds from CMS. They launched a state-funded women's health program instead.

The Texas Women’s Health Program excluded Planned Parenthood and served thousands fewer women.

April 1, 2013: 

Texas's health programs are harming women

Studies showed that nearly half of women seeking an abortion in Texas were unable to access their preferred birth control method in the months prior to their unintended pregnancy.

May 4, 2013

More federal money left on the table as dozens of clinics close

Reports revealed that Texas left $2.3 million in Title X grant funds unspent while dozens of women’s health centers closed statewide. Meanwhile, thousands of women went without lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control and other basic, preventive health care.

June 1, 2013: 

The fight over HB2 begins

Through a series of special sessions, lawmakers passed HB2, a controversial package of bills restricting access to abortion.

Overall, 3 in 10 women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the time they’re 45 years old. This means that HB2 would block thousands of Texas women from getting the care they need.


November 13, 2013

So-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers on the rise

New reports showed that since 2005, lawmakers have diverted more than $36 million away from family planning and preventive women’s health care and into unregulated, non-medical "Crisis Pregnancy Centers."

December 27, 2013: 

Texan women continue to be ignored as HB2 is enforced

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services announced that they will enforce HB2 — Texas’s clinic shut-down law that includes medically unnecessary abortion restrictions — as planned.

November 30, 2013: 

82 health centers closed or stopped providing family planning services as a result of Texas's cuts.


October 9, 2014: 

HB2 restrictions take effect

Within hours after the HB2 restrictions take effect, health centers began to close. Women lined up outside health center doors, waiting to see if they could still access the care they needed at the Planned Parenthood health centers that remained open.

June 9, 2015: 

Fifth Circuit Court upholds devastating abortion restrictions in Texas

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on June 9, 2015 that medically unnecessary restrictions severely restricting Texas women’s access to safe, legal abortion are constitutional.

June 20, 2015: 

Texas kicks Planned Parenthood Patients out of lifesaving cancer program

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott passed a budget that bans Planned Parenthood from the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer (BCC) Services program, which provides vital cancer screenings to women who are uninsured or have low incomes.

October 15, 2015: 

Gov. Abbott is determined to harm Planned Parenthood

Gov. Abbott announced a bogus plan to terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts.

November 30, 2013: 

82 health centers closed or stopped providing family planning services as a result of Texas's cuts.


July 25, 2016: 

Texas rebrands the Texas Women's Health Program as "Healthy Texas Women"

It may have a new name, but this state-run health care program is still an explicit, backdoor attempt to "defund" Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers claimed that Healthy Texas Women gives patients more options. But for each provider added to the program, 10 women lost health care services.

September 1, 2016: 

More dire news for Texas

Reports showed that if Texas were a country, it would have the second highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world — with Black women suffering the most. This rate doubled within a two-year period.

December 21, 2016: 

Texas moves to block care for nearly 11,000 Medicaid patients

Gov. Greg Abbott and the state of Texas made another attempt to block Medicaid patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood, including birth control, cancer screenings, and HIV tests.

May 1, 2017: 

Texas seeks federal funding for Healthy Texas Women

In 2012, Texas Republicans gave up millions of Medicaid dollars just to exclude Planned Parenthood from their state health care program — which served tens of thousands fewer patients than Planned Parenthood, and resulted in worse health outcomes. In 2017, they essentially asked Trump for that money back.

June 1, 2017: 

Abbott's backdoor move paves the way for more states to attack Planned Parenthood

If the Trump administration — which has proved time and time again to be anti-women and anti-women’s health — approves Texas's request for federal funding, it would pave the way for other states to copy Texas's model. The general public had until the end of July to comment on this terrible proposal.

July 18, 2017: 

Gov. Abbott calls a special session — just to hurt health care

The special session was explicitly called in order to pass anti-women's health and anti-LGBTQ bills. Even as Texas women face a maternal mortality crisis, Republicans look for still more ways to attack Planned Parenthood.

August 4, 2017: 

End of federal public comment period for Healthy Texas Women

The public comment period for the disastrous 1115 waiver request ended. Thousands of comments in opposition to the waiver are received. Now it's up to the Trump administration. Will they approve this backdoor attempt at "defunding" Planned Parenthood?

August 15, 2017: 

Bill aimed at limiting abortion coverage BECOMES LAW

Gov. Abbott signed into law a bill that restricts insurance coverage for abortions. As a result, Texas women are forced to buy an additional plan if they want coverage for the procedure.

September 17, 2017: 

The Trump administration could endorse this harmful policy any day

Any day now, the Trump administration could approve Texas's backdoor attempt to "defund" Planned Parenthood. This would open the floodgates for other states led by anti-women's health ideologues to copy this dangerous strategy.

 Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is  spearheading the effort by the administration to bring Texas's model to the rest of the country. And Verma has made her plans for Medicare and Medicaid are clear. Spoiler alert: They’re devastating and anti-women. 

September 11, 2017: 

Results about women's health in Texas are in, and they're SHOCKING

Since the implementation of the program, over 44,000 Texas women lost access to care through the program, and another 39,000 lost access to birth control. Meanwhile, the maternal mortality rate in Texas doubled.

November 8, 2017: 

The numbers don't lie

Since 2010, Texas has passed 22 abortion restrictions and numerous measures aimed at "defunding" and blocking care at Planned Parenthood.

January 22, 2018

The Trump Administration rescinds Obama-era guidance that made it more difficult for states to "defund" Planned Parenthood. 

The Trump-Pence administration has made their agenda crystal clear: They are laser-focused on using their power to control women’s bodies and lives. This latest action encourages states to try to block access to care at Planned Parenthood and control where women can go for health care.