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Panicked Texas Republicans May Throw $100 Million Back At Women's Health

Illustration for article titled Panicked Texas Republicans May Throw $100 Million Back At Womens Health

Oops! Remember that time that Texas lawmakers cut $73 million of family planning funding and thought that wouldn't have an effect on the overall birth rate in the Lone Star state? As it turns out, proving fewer alternatives to having babies means... that there will be more donut holes. I mean, paper clips. Wait, no, I mean babies. More babies.


The Health and Human Services commission is now projecting that over 20,000 unplanned births are on the horizon for women in poverty on Medicaid, at a $237 million cost to taxpayers. Although the Texas Women's Health Program admittedly boasts an entertainingly tacky old-school Sweet Valley High-cover-style logo, Republican lawmakers have finally decided that its inadequacies will cost them more than the benefits of "defrauding the abortion industry."

They've proposed an additional $100 million of general revenue to be filtered into Community Primary Care Services Program to be used specifically for women's health services. From the New York Times:

The additional money could increase the number of patients served annually in the program to 234,000 from 64,000 and nearly double the number of participating health care organizations, to 100 from 57, according to the Department of State Health Services.

Ideally these funds will broaden the range of low-income Texas women eligible for assistance as well as the scope of services offered, although some of the state's women's health officials would have preferred a reinstatement of federal family-planning money over a funneling of general state revenue into primary care. Also—naturally—Texas Right to Life is currently double-checking that none of the providers that would receive the money offer abortion services.

'Restoring Family-Planning Cuts Without Ruffling Feathers' [NYT]

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How to make a Republicans head explode: after they've explained the immorality of abortion to you, look thoughtful and say "I'm glad, albeit surprised, that you don't mind having your taxes go up." When they ask what you're talking about you explain that 80% of abortions are performed on women who are minorities and poor, so you're happy that they don't mind helping to support the children that they're foisting upon these women. I usually add "surely you wouldn't suggest not helping these women and children, because I know how much you love life, and to force them to go hungry would be unimaginably cruel." Mission accomplished - they become so confused when they actually have to think about the consequences of their idiocy that they become infuriated and stomp off.