Abbott to Trump: Pay Us Money We Lost for Excluding Planned Parenthood

Texas guv sends a "pretty please" to the president

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott (Photo by John Anderson)

After not hearing back from the Centers for Medi­care and Medicaid on his request to recoup millions that Texas lost after banning Planned Parenthood from a women’s health program last year, Gov. Greg Abbott is now appealing directly to our anti-choice president, hoping he’ll bend the rules.

In a letter sent to Trump on Wednesday, Abbott praised the administration’s recent decision to block Obama-era guidance on the federal “freedom of choice” provision, which prevented states from booting providers for no legitimate reason without suffering certain consequences. In 2012, Texas officials kicked Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Pro­gram solely because PP “affiliates” with abortion care (although no state funding went to abortion procedures). They lost out on $35 million from the feds since that decision violated the federal provision, as it impeded women’s ability to pick their choice provider. Texas funded the program on its own without PP (renamed “Healthy Texas Women”). Under their new version, roughly 44,000 fewer low-income women received preventive care like cancer screenings and birth control, and some counties that no longer had access to Planned Parenthood saw an increase in unintended pregnancy.

“Texas is a powerful and grim example of what happens when politicians like Governor Abbott try to control women’s bodies and impose their beliefs on all people,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. “Many lost access to health care altogether – either because there are no other providers in their communities, or because other providers don’t offer specialized care like IUDs or the birth control shot.”

Now, Abbott wants those millions back while still banning Planned Parenthood. If Trump complies, he’d set a dangerous precedent that would allow other conservative anti-choice states to ban the reproductive health provider and face no punishment.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Greg Abbott
Gov. Abbott Says No to Refugees
Abbott: No to Refugees
UPDATED: Texas first state to refuse refugees under new Trump policy

Michael King, Jan. 13, 2020

Abbott Issues “Safety Action Report” on Gun Violence
Abbott's Gun Violence Report
Recommendations long on surveillance, short on gun restrictions

Michael King, Sept. 16, 2019

More Planned Parenthood
Paxton Bans State Employees From Donating Pay to Planned Parenthood
Paxton Bans State Employees From Donating Pay to Planned Parenthood
But they can still donate to an anti-choice group

Mary Tuma, Jan. 13, 2020

Planned Parenthood's Standoff to Save Medicaid Continues
Planned Parenthood's Standoff to Save Medicaid Continues
Hearing concludes Thursday, with a ruling expected before the weekend

Mary Tuma, Jan. 19, 2017

More by Mary Tuma
Right Wing Texas State Board of Education Braces Looks to the Left
Right Wing Texas State Board of Education Braces Looks to the Left
Central Texas voters can help transform deep-red education panel

Feb. 21, 2020

Right Wing Texas State Board of Education Looks to the Left
Clipping SBOE's Wing(nuts)
Central Texas voters can help transform deep-red education panel

Feb. 18, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Greg Abbott, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Women's Health Program, Healthy Texas Women, Yvonne Gutierrez

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle