March 12, 2012

Government Cutting Texas Funding For Birth Control

The U.S. Health and Human Services said on Friday that the federal government plans to withdraw funding for a Texas program the provides over 100,000 women with birth control who are unable to afford it.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the agency is pulling the funding out because Texas does not divvy up the money to Planned Parenthood clinics.

Texas Governor Rick Perry called the decision an "egregious federal overreach" after it was announced.

Perry said the decision by the Obama administration was "politically motivated" and that it was an insult that Sebelius had not informed the state of Texas before announcing the move to the press.

The decision comes after the Texas legislature voted to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood last year because the network of women's health clinics performs abortions.

The federal government says Texas decision violates rules of Medicaid, the health program for the poor.

About 130,000 low-income Texas women who get free exams and contraceptives through Medicaid could lose those benefits due to the new decision.

The program provides free birth control and annual exams to women of reproductive age who do not qualify for the regular Medicaid program for the poor.

The federal government pays 90 percent of the cost, and Texas only has to pay about $4 million a year.

Texas is not the only state trying to block Planned Parenthood from receiving the funds, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana have also joined the fight.

Critics of Planned Parenthood say hiring the organization to provide family planning for poor women helps the organization stay afloat, which essentially indirectly supports abortion services.

Texas was able to shut down 11 Planned Parenthood clinics in the state by cutting out the government money.


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