Low-Income Women Could Take a Hit

Budget rider targets Planned Parenthood

By Jordan Smith, Fri., March 20, 2009

At press time, family-planning advocates are decrying a new Senate budget rider that they say would dismantle a health-care system that provides care for thousands of uninsured (and underinsured) Texas women. Senate budget rider 56, authored by Sen. Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, would direct the Department of State Health Services to award more than $50 million in funds over the biennium solely to "public providers" of family-planning services – that is, county health departments – and to "private and not-for-profit contractors" that provide "primary and preventative care" in addition to family-planning services. More than two dozen traditional providers, such as Planned Parenthood clinics, would likely lose their eligibility for funds. Some suspect the move is aimed directly at defunding Planned Parenthood, which served 260,000 clients in Texas in 2008. More on the potential impact of the rider can be found online at austinchronicle.com/newsdesk.

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