The War Continues

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Times looks at Texas's attack on Planned Parenthood and health services for poor women in general:


New Hampshire canceled a state contract with Planned Parenthood last year, but the federal government awarded the organization a similar contract. Recently, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to essentially strip Planned Parenthood of family planning money by creating a tiered system in which Planned Parenthood and other women's clinics could receive financing only in the unlikely possibility that the state could not give it to government-run clinics or to hospitals. The Senate has not voted on the bill. 

Texas enacted a similar tiered system and also sliced its two-year family planning budget from $111 million to $38 million, cuts that the nonpartisan state Legislative Budget Board estimated would eliminate services for nearly 284,000 women, lead to 20,500 additional births and cost Medicaid about $230 million. The board had recommended expanding family planning as a way of saving money. Now, the Medicaid-financed Women's Health Program is in jeopardy. 

Texas signed regulations prohibiting clinics affiliated with groups that provide abortions from receiving funds, even though the clinics do not perform abortions themselves. The federal government says excluding qualified providers in this way is illegal, requiring it to withhold $35 million -- about 90 percent of the program's financing -- if the regulations, which take effect on Wednesday, are not rescinded. That would effectively end the program, increasing the number of women without services to about 400,000. 

Already, Planned Parenthood of Hidalgo County, which is on the Texas-Mexico border, has closed four of eight clinics, including the one in San Carlos, and trimmed services.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/the-war-continues/254169/