The state of Texas is poised to say "no thanks" to millions of dollars in federal money that was earmarked to provide 130,000 low-income women with health care — because they're in a standoff with the federal government over whether or not they should have to give any of it to Planned Parenthood. You know what happens when you hand Planned Parenthood some money— as soon as the check's in the bank they just run out and blow it all on expensive handbags and designer abortions.
Texas' Women's Health Program receives about $40 million per year from the federal government. Its aim is to provide services to women who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford care. Texas, which bears the dubious distinction of leading the nation in both the number and rate of uninsured, could certainly use the funds. But now, it seems that concern for the fate of imaginary fetuses again has trumped real needs of women.
Last year, lawmakers in the state of Texas attempted to draw up a set of guidelines that would bar any taxpayer money from going to any organization that provides abortions, even if the money wasn't used for the procedure. The measure was clearly designed to cut off Planned Parenthood at the knees, because Planned Parenthood is to 2012 as Communists were to 1954.
The federal government said rule was in violation of the Social Security Act, and unless the Lone Star State eliminated the rule, they'd be forced to cut off funding to the Women's Health Program.
It doesn't look like that's going to happen. Republicans in Texas love to do nutty things like threaten to secede from the union and teach creationism in public school, and they're making this out like it's another example of federal overreach. Democrats aren't buying it, saying it's a nakedly political move to get anti-abortion people riled up, and that the federal government has a right to withdraw funding from the program that they fund relative to state taxpayers at a ratio of $9 to $1.
The thousands and thousands of poor women who will now be cut off from health care that they need could not be reached for comment.
Suehs Signs Rule Banning Abortion Affiliates [Texas Tribune]