Texas is a cautionary tale for states targeting care at Planned Parenthood
Washington, D.C. –New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project(TxPEP) reveals the devastating consequences for women when politicians block access to care at Planned Parenthood. After the state of Texas blocked Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through the Women’s Health Program in 2013, it led to a 35% decline in women using the most effective methods of birth control. And after Planned Parenthood was banned from the program, there was a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously used injectable contraception, which researchers attribute to the ban.
In a companion study, researchers found that women reported difficulty making an appointment and the ability to pay for care. These consequences are even more devastating for low-income women and women living in rural areas. They wrote: “These results should be cautionary to states considering similar measures; they contradict the claim that Planned Parenthood could be removed from a statewide program with little or no consequence.”
Officials in Texas, Louisiana, Ohio and other states have claimed that other providers can meet the need for care without Planned Parenthood. Tragically for women in Texas, that hasn’t been the case. In Ohio — which is poised to send a “defunding” bill to Governor Kasich as early as February 9 — politicians have claimed that Planned Parenthood patients can go to food banks for STD and HIV tests. Utah’s Department of Health advised Governor Herbert that blocking care at Planned Parenthood is a “bad idea” and put people’s health at risk — that 4,400 men and women would not receive STD testing, and that 3,725 people with chlamydia or gonorrhea and their partners would not receive treatment. In Louisiana, the state went so far as to claim that dentists, orthopedists, and audiologists can care for the more than 5,200 patients that Planned Parenthood serves through Medicaid.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This new research shows the devastating consequences for women when politicians block access to care at Planned Parenthood. Politicians have claimed time and again that our patients can simply go to other health care providers — and tragically that’s not the case. Instead, women were left out in the cold. Texas is fast becoming a cautionary tale for politicians in Ohio, Utah, and other states targeting care at Planned Parenthood.”
This study comes as politicians across the country are endangering the lives of their citizens with blatant lies, even as accusations against Planned Parenthood continue to crumble. Just last week, a Houston grand juryindicted David Daleiden, the founder and self-proclaimed leader of the anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, on criminal charges, including one felony charge. In addition to the grand jury in Harris County, officials in twelve states have concluded investigations into claims that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donation and each one has cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. Officials in another eight states have declined to even investigate altogether citing a lack of any evidence to suggest wrongdoing.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
February 03, 2016