As Republicans continue their crusade to defund Planned Parenthood across the country, a preview of that overall vision is playing out in Texas. The state GOP’s slashing of the family planning budget in 2011 and shutting down over 80 clinics has had the opposite intended effect, with abortion rates among teens rising over 3 percent in the following 3 years, according to a new study.
Also with the cuts, teen births rose 3.4 percent in the following 4 years. The study cited the lack of access to preventative women’s health as the reason for the spike in teen abortion and births.
“Although the primary stated objective of the funding cuts was to decrease abortion incidents, I find little evidence that reducing family planning funding achieved this goal,” said the study’s author, Analisa Packham of Texas A&M University.
Packham estimates that 2,2oo teens would not have given birth if the cuts hadn’t taken place. With each birth costing taxpayers roughly $27,000, the increased birthrate brings with it a price tag of $80 million, severely undermining the intent of the budget cuts.
From The Huffington Post:
The greatest rises in abortion rates occurred in rural areas, where access to affordable family planning care was already scarce. In Gregg County, where the local health center lost 60 percent of its family planning funding, the abortion rate increased by 191 percentbetween 2012 and 2014. The Austin American-Statesman reported that at least five counties in East Texas also saw “considerable increases” in abortions over that two-year period.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Gregg County in East Texas saw a mindblowing 191 percent increase in abortion after legislators slashed 60 precent of the county’s family planning funding. Similar results echoed in other county that attacked their family planning funds.
Even with evidence showing their politically motivated goals aren’t being met, it’s a safe bet anti-choice lawmakers will continue to wreak havoc on health care, facts be damned.
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