If there was any hope that the state was seeking a compromise with the federal government over Texas’ Women’s Health Program, it’s fading fast. At the direction of lawmakers and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Texas Health and Human Services commissioner signed a rule on Thursday that formally bans Planned Parenthood clinics and other "affiliates of abortion providers" from participating in the program — something the Obama administration has said is a deal-breaker for the nearly $40 million-per-year state-federal Medicaid program.(Emphasis mine.)
Unless some last-minute agreement is brokered, the program, which receives $9 in federal funds for every $1 in state funds, will be either phased out or cut off by the end of March. At least 130,000 poor Texas women will lose access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams and contraception.
This news is devastating, enraging, heartbreaking, horrific, and sadly not surprising. It's just one battle in the current war on women (and anyone who needs or cares about reproductive services.) I just can't even think I'm so mad.
Other battles in this war include:
- Extremist Republicans becoming viable presidential nominee candidates
- The current Virginia ultrasound legislation
- Hearings on women's health which contain no women
- The controversy surrounding the birth control mandate
And those are just the ones making recent news. I don't know any other way to say it: it makes me fucking sick.
Those of us who believe that women-YES even those who are poor and minorities-should have access to reproductive services, have got to do something. We are not wrong, but doing nothing, saying nothing, and letting this go on is.
Write your legislator. Email a friend about it. Post a Facebook status speaking out. Withdraw monetary support from companies/churches/candidates who do not support your views on this issue. PROTEST, MARCH, AND GET MAD AS HELL.
Do not keep quiet. Do not accept the rolling back of our rights. I ask this sincerely, abortion and birth control today, tomorrow WHAT?