Planned Parenthood downtown to lose funding this week, only two remain funded instate
The unfortunate word is out: Austin’s Planned Parenthood, an institution to low-income and uninsured women off East 7th Street, will be completely defunded in just two days.
The Department of State Health Services began notifying contractors late last week that their funding would be completely revoked or reduced for FY 2012 (which starts Thursday, September 1st).
The result? Six of the state’s eight Planned Parenthood clinics have now had their funding removed; the two remaining (one in North Texas and the other in Waco) barely have funding at all.
For Austin, this will likely mean that more than 4,000 women who depend on Planned Parenthood for basic reproductive healthcare will now have nowhere to go. To many outraged citizens and organizations alike, this decision is outlandish, to say the least. Sadly, it has been a long time coming.
The decision is comes on the heels of our Texas lawmakers’ successful attempts to cut (or drastically reduce) the budget for women’s access to basic reproductive healthcare and family planning. Spearheaded by Rick Perry, the state budget goal was to eliminate more than two-thirds of funding for women’s health services, including life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings.
But Austin’s Planned Parenthood refuses to stop helping women receive adequate care. They have launched a campaign called Austin Stands with Planned Parenthoodto both increase awareness of the defunding and raise money to continue treating women in need.
The organization conducted a survey of Texas residents, and found that the majority of Texans do not think Planned Parenthood should be defunded from providing cancer screenings, yearly check ups, birth control or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Having proved the majority of its public supports its initiatives, the campaign seeks to rally that public to ensure that women’s reproductive and family planning rights do not get thrown to the wayside. As the campaign exclaims:
“The Texas Legislature is continuing attacks on women’s health and now the health care for 400,000 Texans is in serious jeopardy.”
To keep hundreds of thousands of women from becoming at risk of missing life-threatening cancers, the campaign calls on Texans to contact their legislators to “restore family planning funding and oppose any effort to defund Planned Parenthood.”
The campaign is also fundraising to raise $350,000 for client assistance, so that women do not go without life-saving care while they wait for policy-makers to reverse what’s been waged “The War on Women’s Health.”