Texas GOP's War on Women's health goes much deeper
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Jul 15, 2013
Texas GOP's War on Women's health goes much deeper than one anti-abortion bill
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis explains that she filibustered the recently passed anti-abortion bill for nearly 13 hours, and Texans came from across the state in protest, not just because of abortion but because of broader women's health concerns that have been under attack by the state's Republican leaders for years:
These partisans have depicted their bill as an effort to improve the quality of care available to women in local clinics. However, the filibuster exposed their real intent — to close clinics all over the state of Texas and deny health-care services to thousands of Texas women. And now Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have rammed these new restrictions through the state legislature in a special session, without concern for health care or constitutionality.
This partisan effort builds on a concerted action by state leaders to roll back access to women’s and family health care. In 2011, their budget cuts threw approximately 150,000 women out of a health safety net that, as in my experience, served as their only source of regular, reliable care. Since then, state leaders have bypassed a nine-to-one federal match in funding for the women’s health-care program and saddled state taxpayers with approximately $30 million per year in unnecessary expense, as well as millions of additional dollars spent through Medicaid on unplanned births. Worse, a vendetta against Planned Parenthood by Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has gutted nearly half of the state’s women’s health-care delivery system. As a consequence, tens of thousands of Texas women may very well have no providers of care despite additional state funding.
If you look at this one new law in isolation, you might almost believe Republicans that the closing of women's clinics is an unintended byproduct. But when you look at Texas' record on women's health care over the past few years, it's clear that closing clinics and making health care harder to obtain is a feature, not a bug.
Draft Wendy Davis for governor.
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