There is trouble afoot in Texas. We seem to be drawing a lot of attention from the Obama Administration, and while that is never a good thing, it’s even less of a good thing when you’re a red state in an election year.
A primary issue this year is health care, and Texas has a state program for low income women to help with costs associated with that care. It’s important to note the Federal Government contributes 90% of the funding of Texas’ Women’s Health Program, to the tune of about $35 Million through Medicaid. Around 130,000 low-income women participate in the state program.
The state of Texas passed a law in 2011 prohibiting funds for the Women’s Health Program from going to organizations that provide abortions. Most Texans, including yours truly, appreciate their tax dollars being withheld from such procedures. Governor Perry is also in strong agreement that non-abortion providing facilities should be first in line for the much needed funding.
The primary organization affected by the Texas law is Planned Parenthood. Houston boasts the largest Planned Parenthood facility in the country, (yea, us), so it’s surprising to learn that only 2% of the care provided to the Women’s Health Program is through Planned Parenthood. Knowing how near and dear that organization is to Dear Leader’s heart, it’s no surprise that Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has swooped in to cut off funding unless Texas gives up its no-public-funding-of-abortion ways.
Governor Perry is not backing down. Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott has filed a law suit against the DHHS, contending that cutting off funding is a violation of the law and of the US Constitution. Perry has vowed to keep the program running, saying he’ll find the funds somewhere within the state system if the Federal funds are permanently withdrawn.
It’s clear that this current battle is political, and Planned Parenthood’s financial support of Obama is certainly paying off. Not surprisingly, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has chimed in, stating Texas has declared a war on women. One has to ask – who is really declaring war on women when funding is being denied to 98% of participants due to withdrawing support from an organization that provides only 2% of the care? War on women, indeed.