Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for its decision to obliterate access to health services for women. Here’s the release from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:
Today, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has joined Planned Parenthood affiliates from across the state in filing a federal lawsuit against Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission to stop the enforcement of an unconstitutional rule that threatens access to health care for tens of thousands of low-income women.
The lawsuit argues that it is unconstitutional to block Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women’s Health Program. Over 40 percent of women who received services through the Women’s Health Program chose to rely on a Planned Parenthood health center for Women’s Health Program services, which include lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, contraception, screening for diabetes and high blood pressure, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
As you know, women in Texas have faced their fair share of attacks on health care. First the legislature slashed $73 million from the state’s family planning program severely limiting access to basic preventive health care for 130,000 Texas women who lack health insurance.
If allowed to stand, the actions taken by Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs, with the support of Governor Perry, will lead to the loss of $35 million in federal funds and a dramatic cutback in health care services available to women in the state.
Planned Parenthood is asking all of us to stand with Texas Women by signing their online petition. Please do so.
Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso has come out in support of Texas Women.
“…state leaders continue to conflate contraception with abortion and spread myths, while sidestepping the fact that one in four women in Texas have no health insurance at all. Here are the facts: the Women’s Health Program provides contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other basic health services to uninsured low-income Texas women. It does not provide abortions.
“Nearly half of Women’s Health Program clients receive services through Planned Parenthood, which does not provide abortions at WHP clinics. As the single largest provider of care within the WHP, Planned Parenthood providers have been critical to the program’s success.
“At the end of 2009, El Paso lost one of its primary sources of affordable reproductive health care – Planned Parenthood. In the year following their closure, roughly 900 women and men lost health care and the rate of chlamydia increased by 24 percent, the rate of gonorrhea increased by 56 percent, and the rate of HIV cases increased by 43 percent.
“Texas women don’t need their state government — whether it’s the Governor or the executive head of a state agency — to dictate where they can get their Pap tests, mammograms or birth control.”
Obviously, DosCentavos.net stands with Texas Women, too!
Update: Statement from State Rep. Jessica Farrar, House Dem Leader:
“Rick Perry and his Republican cohorts started this fight when they waged war on women’s health,” said Farrar.
Farrar is unequivocal in her resolve to support Planned Parenthood and Texas women. “Women did not ask for this fight, but we are sure going to finish it, even if that means a court battle,” she said. “Texas women are strong and proud, and we will not sit idly by while a group of extremists attack our health and well being.”