Target: Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner, Kyle Janek
Goal: Allow Planned Parenthood to participate in women’s healthcare program in Texas
When anti-choice politicians in Texas refused to allow clinics providing abortions to participate in the Women’s Health Program, the federal government pulled all of its funding and Texas was forced to create a new state-funded program. Clinics that do not perform abortions themselves but are associated with those that do are excluded in the new plan. If federal courts decide that these organizations need to be included, the state promises to cut the program entirely. Texas must allow Planned Parenthood to participate in the program, regardless of the court’s ruling, to ensure that low-income women receive basic health care.
The Women’s Health Program was originally Medicaid-based and almost entirely funded by the federal government. If the state-run program is allowed to continue without Planned Parenthood, almost half of the women who participate in the program will need to find new providers for their preventive care. The state claims that it will be able to find providers for those who were previously receiving medical care at Planned Parenthood clinics, but officials have done nothing to prove that and thousands of women are expected to be left without health care.
The original plan for the new program went even further and planned to prohibit doctors from even discussing abortions with patients, but after doctors argued that this would jeopardize the relationship between doctor and patient, the rules were modified to allow doctors to discuss abortions as long as they do not help women obtain abortions. Officials are doing everything possible to outlaw abortions in the state to the detriment of women’s health.
The new Women’s Health Program is more of a political statement than a health plan, as it must survive without federal funding because of the state’s refusal to allow any organization with ties to abortion providers to participate. The federally funded program put millions of dollars into women’s health care that the state no longer receives, which could result in major health issues for low-income women. Texas must stop putting political issues before women’s health and, at the very least, allow Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions to participate.
Dear Kyle Janek,
Your plan for the new Women’s Health Program puts tight restrictions on the types of clinics that may participate, greatly restricting health services for women, and is expected to leave thousands of low-income women without any health care at all.
Under the modified state-funded program, the rates of unplanned pregnancies are expected to increase, which would end up costing the state even more money. Additionally, many women will be without the screenings and medical care that prevent and treat serious diseases.
Texas officials have allowed political issues to dictate the program’s regulations, putting women’s health at risk. I am asking that you put your personal political beliefs aside and at least allow clinics that do not provide abortions themselves to participate in the program.
[Your Name Here]
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