a Medicaid waiver, “The Women’s Health Program,” which received 90% of its funds from the federal government and excluded Planned Parenthood and other affiliates from that funding (Stevenson et al.). Soon afterwards, the program was found to be illegal — but funding continued until 2012 when the program was replaced by a nearly identical, wholly state funded replication. Instead of going to Planned Parenthood or other clinics that provide abortions, funding was directed towards “c ounty health departments, community health centers, and other comprehensive care providers” (Stevenson et al.). As a result, over 80 family planning clinics closed in the next several years — a third of which were Planned Parenthood locations (Stevenson et al.).
9 The substitutes that The Women’s Health Program directed funding to have been touted by conservative groups and legislators as wholly capable of providing the women’s health services that Planned Parenthood performed. However, both qualitative and quantitative studies conducted in Texas in the years following the shift found that these health centers were not fully equipped to handle the scope of reproductive health services that were previously serviced mainly by Planned Parenthood. Their range of family planning methods offered to women were much more limited, and their capacity to handle the number of women that required these services was insufficient. Studies estimated that “community health centers would have to double the number of contraceptive clients they serve if Planned Parenthood clinics, which serve 32 percent of those receiving publicly supported contraceptive services” (White et al., 2). For community health centers, who are expected to provide primary care for all ages and genders, adding a this large amount of patients is not a small feat. In Texas, numbers were concrete, and showed that following funding cuts, “54 percent fewer clients were served” and all clients saw reduced access to the most effective long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARC), such as IUDs and implants (White et al., 3). Rates of LARC requests saw a sharp decline in the months following the funding cuts, especially prevalent in counties that were previously home to Planned Parenthood affiliates — essentially, the number of women who were receiving injections before the exclusion of Planned Parenthood was much fewer afterwards (Stevenson et al.). Further, “the provision of short-acting hormonal methods” such as birth control pills, “changed little in the… quarter after the exclusion and declined steadily thereafter” (Stevenson et al.). The study also found that declined access to contraceptive methods correlated with a disproportionate increase in pregnancies. Though data does not exist regarding whether these pregnancies were planned, lowered provision of contraceptives suggests that they were unintended. Many of the
10 primary care contractors expressed that they had trouble expanding their services: “‘[W]e got very, very little guidance... We were in the dark, and it was like, ‘Okay, so now we’re going to
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 16 pages?
- Spring '08
- Roe v. Wade, unsafe abortion