And a Happy New Year to one and all! Even though I started this blog around the end of August of 2011, it was one year ago today when I started writing every day. Chalk it up to the absence of a work contract, so what the hell else was I going to do … go for a walk outside? Socialize with friends? Exercise??
Oh, in related news I found a Master of Orion clone for my iPhone. God forbid I seize the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts during those long flights to and from Chicago.
Anyway … in celebration of the new year, and CAD’s first birthday, I give you more complaining. This time it’s from the great state of Texas … surprise, surprise. Despite the fact that the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions or abortion related services, Texas recently passed a law that strips all federal funding from Planned Parenthood and PP-affiliated health providers simply because of their position on the topic.
[...] Texas’ insistence on defunding Planned Parenthood has already had far-reaching consequences. Some health clinics in the state have been forced to close — including at least 50 that weren’t even affiliated with Planned Parenthood’s national organization — leading thousands of low-income women to forgo the preventative care they need. Monday’s decision will almost certainly cause additional health clinics to close their doors in January, the lawyer representing Planned Parenthood pointed out.
Back in July I wrote about Rick Perry’s proposal for a Texas-based Women’s Health Program and its … interesting restrictions. For example:
(b) Qualifications. A TWHP provider must ensure that:
(1) the provider does not perform or promote elective abortions outside the scope of the TWHP and is not an affiliate of an entity that performs or promotes elective abortions; and
(2) in offering or performing a TWHP service, the provider does not promote elective abortion within the scope of the TWHP [...]
(c) Defining “promote.” For purposes of subsection (b) of this section, the term “promote” includes, but is not necessarily limited to:
(1) providing to a TWHP client counseling concerning the use of abortion as a method of family planning or within the continuum of family planning services;
(2) providing to a TWHP client a referral for an elective abortion as a method of family planning or within the continuum of family planning services;
(3) furnishing or displaying to a TWHP client information that publicizes or advertises an abortion service or provider; and
(4) using, displaying, or operating under a brand name, trademark, service mark, or registered identification mark of an organization that performs or promotes elective abortions.
Long story short, any organization that is part of the TWHP is expressly forbidden from even mentioning the possibility of abortion as an option or else they will lose their state funding. This is what is now in effect in the state. As ThinkProgress points out:
The new Women’s Health Program launches on Tuesday, and Monday’s ruling ensures that Planned Parenthood won’t be part of it. Before Texas Republicans began their crusade against Planned Parenthood, the organization provided preventative cancer screenings, contraceptive services, and family planning assistance to nearly half of the state’s 130,000 low-income women in the Medicaid program.
So over 60,000 women in the state of Texas are going to lose their ability to access low-cost healthcare because a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s services – in some locations – provide abortion services. For the link-phobic, here’s a happy pie chart:
Kudos to Rick Perry and people like him for sacrificing the welfare of tens of thousands of women in his state because of his desire to pander to the religious zealots who get their jollies off of demonizing female sexuality. Who cares if these women have a harder time getting pap smears or STI screenings? It’s not as if any of the people who put forth this legislation are in a position to feel its effects. That might result in some perspective. In the meantime, the authors of this measure can feel safe in the knowledge that Christianity is still alive and well in America.
Not the parts about charity, mercy, and compassion … just the stuff that Jesus didn’t say anything about, like abortion and gay people. You know.