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What Does It Cost To Cut $62 Million?

The hidden costs, from cash to cancer

Fri., April 22, 2011

The budget bill passed by the House, if it should survive conference committee, is actually unlikely to eliminate Planned Parenthood in Texas (if that is its unstated intention). What it would do is make it difficult for Planned Parenthood clinics to serve those clients most in need – ensuring little or no access to health care for the majority of Texas' low-income and uninsured women for the next two years. That's just one of the many realities hidden in that $62 million. Cuts to family-planning funds will also:

Increase the number of serious illnesses – such as cervical and breast cancers as well as STIs – diagnosed at more critical and costlier stages of illness

Reduce birth spacing, posing increased health risks to mother and baby

Increase the number of abortions

Increase Medicaid costs

Shift state money to less efficient providers (public providers spend $219 per client; federally qualified health centers spend $225; Planned Parenthood spends only $168)

Leave displaced clients with inadequate alternatives (e.g., overwhelmed FQHCs already routinely return state money for reallocation)

The cuts will also drastically reduce access to the following preventative health care services:

Annual gynecological exams

Birth control

Testing for hypertension, anemia, tuberculosis, and diabetes

Screening for breast and cervical cancers

Screening for sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV/AIDS

Counseling for pregnancy planning

Reproductive health education

Midlife and post-menopausal care

Colposcopy and cryotherapy

Prenatal care

Infertility services

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