Target: Joe Strauss, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Goal: Return funding to Planned Parenthood in Texas to decrease Medicaid-dependent births.
Between 2011 and 2013, the Texas legislature removed Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics across the state. This decision prevented many women in low-income households from getting access to birth control. Lack of access, or lack of convenient access to hormonal contraceptives, is one of the main reasons women either do not use contraceptives or use them inconsistently. Demand that Texan women of any socioeconomic status be granted easy access to oral contraceptives once more.
The state of Texas removed funding from Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers due to the fact that the clinics provided abortion services. However, these are not the only services that are now no longer available to low-income women. For example, intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants in women living at or below the federal poverty level dropped 35.5 percent following defunding. These contraceptive devices are a one-time service that can prevent pregnancies for up to twelve years, and low-income women no longer have access to these services.
Medicaid covers 40 percent of all births in the United States, and the coverage includes everything from prenatal care through 60 days postpartum. Though this plan is an important resource for low-income pregnant women, it is an extremely expensive alternative over birth control funding for low-income women. Though Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics do perform abortion services, those services are all privately funded, and all state funding goes to other health services.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives to return Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics. This will grant women across the state easier access to birth control, vastly reducing the number of costly unwanted pregnancies.
Dear Speaker Strauss,
Free and low-cost contraceptives have routinely been provided to low-income women by Planned Parenthood and its affiliate clinics. Texas legislation, however, excluded these clinics from receiving Medicaid funding, which has resulted in a sharp increase in babies born to low income families. The low socioeconomic status of these families leads to more dependence on state-funded Medicaid, which means the lack of funding to these clinics has resulted in a far more expensive long-term cost for taxpayers.
The main reason women don’t take, don’t take consistently, or stop taking birth control is due to a lack of convenient access. Allowing women 18 years of age and older access to affordable birth control plans via Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics would significantly lower the number of unwanted pregnancies statewide. A decrease in babies born via Medicaid would save the state a significant amount of money long-term.
I am urging you to allow women across Texas easier access to contraceptives. Please take actions to enforce policies that will lower the rate of unexpected pregnancies and save U.S. taxpayers millions annually.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paul Sableman