When Will Texas Learn?


Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/faGYWy
Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/faGYWy

Texas is at it again…putting political agendas ahead of the actual needs of women, all under the guise of “protecting” women’s health.
Call me naïve, but after the Supreme Court told Texas that they can no longer make an end-run around the legal right to abortion by passing laws that falsely claim to protect women’s health, I thought Texas had learned its lesson.
I thought that after spending more than 1 million taxpayer dollars and three years of government resources to defend these obviously bogus laws, Texas had learned its lesson.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew some people in Texas were going to continue to try to undermine women’s health and target abortion providers, but I didn’t think they would be bold enough (or dumb enough) to use the same tactic – achieving these political goals by pretending to protect women’s health – that the Supreme Court saw through just six months ago.
But here we are again.  On Tuesday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission notified Planned Parenthood that the state plans on terminating Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood’s 34 Texas-health centers in the next 30 days.  In making this decision, the Commission cited “health and safety” concerns, relying on heavily edited videos released last year by anti-abortion activists: videos that have been de-bunked after multiple investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.  In fact, a grand jury actually indicted the makers of the videos on criminal charges.
This should sound all too familiar – Texas attempting to disguise political motives by pretending to further women’s health.  Did I mention that they are ignoring federal Medicaid law?  Every law attempting to block Medicaid funding because a health center provides abortion services has been blocked by federal courts.
But the saddest part of all this isn’t that the Commission thinks we can’t see through its lies.  The saddest part isn’t even that these actions openly defy federal law.  The saddest part is, if Texas follows through and terminates Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding, 11,000 low-income women will lose access to life saving health services such as birth control and cancer screenings.
So no, some people in Texas haven’t learned.  And they apparently haven’t started actually caring about women’s health either.