Babies born to low-income women shot up after Texas cut funding to Planned Parenthood

A new report published Wednesday shows a stark increase in births among low income women living in Texas, due to the state’s rapid campaign to stop funding of Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics affiliated with abortion providers.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the study demonstrated a significant increase in births among women who had received birth control in the past at clinics that are no longer funded by the state.

From the Journal:

“The exclusion of Planned Parenthood affiliates from a state-funded replacement for a Medicaid fee-for-service program in Texas was associated with adverse changes in the provision of contraception. For women using injectable contraceptives, there was a reduction in the rate of contraceptive continuation and an increase in the rate of childbirth covered by Medicaid.”

Researchers say their findings offer a sneak peak of what may happen in other states that have cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the L.A. Times reports. Lawmakers in Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire, Louisiana, North Carolina and Utah have instituted policies to keep public funds out of Planned Parenthood clinics. Ohio is likely the next state to follow suit.

The leader of the study Joseph Potter said, “These laws definitely had a real impact on women and that it’s not like there is a large, over-capacity of highly qualified providers of effective contraception out there just waiting for people to show up.”

Texas began its campaign to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics came in 2011, when lawmakers cut family-planning grants by 66% across the state,

The cut in funding was responsible for the closure of 82 family-planning clinics across the state, with about one-third of them being affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the Times reported.

“Of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” then-state Rep. Wayne Christian, an East Texas Republican, said in 2011.

From the L.A. Times:

The state’s federally funded Medicaid program was not allowed to steer funds away from Planned Parenthood clinics. So in 2013, the state ditched it and set up the state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program, which could legally withhold funds from any clinic affiliated with an abortion provider.

“It was exclusively Planned Parenthood that was hit by that,” Potter said.

You can read the entire L.A. Times piece here.

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