Deep in the Heartlessness of Texas

Deep in the Heartlessness of TexasWomen’s healthcare is a mess in Texas. To get the full picture, I recommend you read Jaeah Lee’s incredible article, This Is What Happens When You Defund Planned Parenthood. But let me give you just a little taste of what it is like deep in the heartlessness of Texas.

For the last two years, Texas has passed up $30 million per year in federal Medicaid funding, all in an effort to destroy Planned Parenthood. Their plan has been pretty successful: 53 clinics have been forced to shut down. But here’s the thing: not one of those clinics performed abortions. So the intent of the Texas legislature to wipe out the “abortion industry” has utterly failed.

But it’s worse than that. In their effort to end abortion (because conservatives just love the unborn even as they hate the born), they have managed to do a lot of damage to women’s access to birth control. The Texas Health Commission estimates that these policies will, in next two years, lead to 24,000 unwanted pregnancies resulting in a cost of up to $273 million.

That’s the thing about allowing ideology to rule policy making: it ends in stupid policy. I suspect even now these legislators would claim that spending an extra billion dollars (over ten years) is a small price to pay for all the fetuses they save. Of course, it isn’t clear that they are even saving fetuses. Abortions are down by about 10%, but it isn’t clear whether this is due to new laws or not. Dan Grossman of Ibis Reproductive Health says that most women are not changing their minds about abortion after seeing their state required ultrasounds.[1]

The following graph from Lee’s article, probably shows what is really going on.

Fading Texas Family Planning

The number of women being served by all resources is plummeting. And that may be the point. As I’ve written before, the anti-choice movement is anti-woman.

[1] The idea that women are children who don’t know what they are doing when they get an abortion is the most repellent aspect of these ultrasound laws. And I think they get to the heart of what anti-choice men (especially) think about the wider issue. This is all about controlling women. It has almost nothing to do with protecting the fetus.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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