Opinion

Planned Parenthood exaggerates Texas budget cuts; poor women still have cancer screening access

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The email from Planned Parenthood Texas Votes almost sounds tragic, until someone reads between the lines. Reporting on Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s wise decision to eliminate Planned Parenthood from  participating in a state/federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program. While it’s true that this program helps poor and uninsured women obtain cancer screenings, it’s wholly untrue that Abbott’s elimination of the abortion provider from the program eliminates access to cancer screenings for women.

But that’s now how Yvonne Gutierrez presents it. Using her best dramatic rhetoric and manipulative words, she laments:

“Governor Abbott did the unthinkable. He signed the Texas Legislature’s budget that cuts access to life-saving cancer screenings, and will block thousands of Texan women from receiving urgent and critical health care from the provider they trust. This action is a shameless play to score political points, and puts low-income Texas women at risk.”

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But that’s not what happened. In fact, if a woman clicks on this link from the state of Texas and searches for clinics that will give her a cancer screening she will find a myriad of them spread abroad throughout the state. I searched a zip code in a rural area where I used to live and found clinics for cancer screenings closer than some of the special health services I have needed in the past. Then I searched the border region of Laredo, as well as a central Texas city, just running some random searches to see how scarce these programs are outside major cities. Time and again, at least a couple clinics nearby came up, usually actual medical health clinics or state facilities.

Surely some rural areas are harder to find any sort of health care, but the presence of an abortion-fueled clinic is not needed to provide cancer screenings. These screenings didn’t suddenly leave because the governor has a vendetta against poor women. To listen to Planned Parenthood, one would think there is a conspiracy again all women simply because people don’t want free access to killing babies.

The fact of Abbott’s budget cuts on this issue are this, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

“Planned Parenthood serves about 10 percent of the Texas women in the program. In fiscal year 2014, Planned Parenthood affiliates received about $1.2 million in funding and served 2,938 of the 33,599 women who received services from Breast and Cervical Cancer Services providers across the state.”

And, lest anyone think the other women Planned Parenthood has served will suffer without a cancer screening, perhaps Gutierrez should read on to this part:

“Some of the targeted clinics may still receive cancer screening funding if the state is unable to find other eligible providers in certain regions.”

What that actually means is that no woman in Texas will be prevented from a cancer screening because of Abbott cutting the abortion giant from the program.

It’s a sad day when an organization that makes millions of dollars in profit has to tell lies in mass emails, performing more like a teenage drama queen than responsible leaders of a medical facility. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t trust a place with a reliable cancer screening when it can’t even be trusted to tell me the truth about the law.

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