Amid aggressive attempts to cut Planned Parenthood funding nationwide, there’s a bright spot in Texas, where low-income women will soon have access to free IUDs and STD testing after a recent $2 million donation.
The Boone Family Foundation and Harold Simmons Foundation donated $1 million each to the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, to fund STD tests and long-acting birth control (IUDs and implants) over three years. The options will be available to 1,000 women a year at Planned Parenthood centers in Dallas-Fort Worth, starting in September.
Simmons grants director Betsy Healy told Dallas Morning News, “For us, it’s really just about access to the best health care for all women in Dallas. We felt this was an option women should have. It’s about removing the cost barrier.” As the Texas Planned Parenthood chapter’s CEO Ken Lambrecht said in a statement, the funding will be crucial to women with low incomes and/or no health insurance.
The Cut notes a previous, related grant that helped provide free IUDs in Colorado led to 40-percent fewer teen pregnancies and a 42 percent drop in teen abortions.
UPDATE: A Planned Parenthood rep clarified to Jezebel that free IUDs are not the case (the word “free” has thus been removed from the headline of this post). Rather, the funding “will significantly expand access to contraceptive equity and healthcare screenings for women in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex,” according to the press release.