Texas women need your help. Starting March 14th, 2012, more than 130,000 Texas women will be out of luck when it comes to receiving reproductive health services. The many women who count on the Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program (TMWHP) to obtain well-woman exams and family planning will no longer have reasonable access to these services. The TMWHP provides services to women who are low-income and do not qualify for full Medicaid, women who are unisured, and women whose insurance does not cover women’s health, like the insurance of yours truly. These women are going to be left with no services whatsover, and it’s all Rick Perry’s fault.
Last year, the state of Texas passed a bill that effectively outlaws any clinic or doctor who provides abortion services or has ties to anywhere that provides abortion services from receiving government funding. It doesn’t even matter if a particular clinic or doctor does not actually provide those services themselves; the mere affiliation is enough to prevent them from accessing funding.
The problem with this is that there is a federal law already in existence that says that states aren’t allowed to be picky about which organizations receive health care funding, provided that they are qualifying organizations under pre-existing laws. Because of this, Texas stands to lose all 40 million dollars worth of federal funding for the TWHMP. Naturally, Perry blames Obama and sees it as an intrusion on states’ rights (remember, this is the guy who wanted to secede from the rest of the country), while everyone else just blames Perry. He’s wanted for so long to defund Planned Parenthood, and he’s finally done it,and done a lot of damage in the process.
Perry has pointed out that there are various other clinics where women can receive services. That’s all well and good, but how many women know about them? How many women can get to them? Whether the women get services from a Planned Parenthood or another participating clinic, it won’t matter anymore, because none of these clinics will be getting any money thanks to anti-choice legislation. Really, conservatives act like this money isn’t being earmarked. They also forget about that little piece of legislation called the Hyde Amendment.
For lots of low-income and uninsured women, the TMWHP is the only realistic option for healthcare of any kind. I think many would be shocked by the number of women who only ever see a doctor because of this program. I don’t have the numbers (bad grad student!), but for those women, this is their only source of healthcare. Losing this program will have drastic consequences for Texas women, many of whom also get their birth control from this program. Please help me fight the good fight and sign a petition, or write directly to Governor Perry at the address below.
Write or email Governor Perry:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428