. . . [A] Washington Post editorial protests that providing such basic safeguards will mean that “all but one of the clinics probably would close because of the associated costs.”
Such protests tell a lot about a low level of health and safety at those abortion clinics.
Unfortunately, the Gosnell (and, possibly Texas’ Karpen) case tell us more about the effects of not monitoring State laws that are in existence.
But we do have evidence that the current standards are too low for health and safety. Over the last few months, as Texas’ Legislature considered new laws concerning abortion safety, we heard testimony from women who were required to stand in lines in narrow halls while waiting for their abortion, who were forced to walk out of the facility while hemorrhaging, and who were denied privacy. Most of all, we heard that the much touted claim that abortion is between a woman and “her doctor” is often meaningless, since the doctor doesn’t offer continuing care after the procedure.
Evidently, there were men who tried to enter the Senate Gallery ith tampons. Sounds suspicious to me!
“The possession of these and other items is not a crime, and therefore, there was no basis to arrest and detain visitors who possessed such items; however, they were denied access unless they discarded the items,” McCraw wrote. “The Department never took possession of these items and had no justification to do so.”
No officer questioned by the San Antonio Express-News or the Texas Tribune could confirm they had confiscated feces or urine or that they had any knowledge of such items being in the Capitol.
McCraw explained the basis for which officers did not allow feminine hygiene products including tampons and sanitary napkins into the gallery.
“The arbitrary prohibition of feminine hygiene products, for example, on its face would seem absurd,” McCraw wrote. “However, the Department received reports that some visitors planned to throw feminine hygiene products onto the Senate floor. One woman attempted to enter the Senate gallery with approximately 100 feminine hygiene products and she was denied access, as were two men who possessed approximately 50 feminine hygiene products each.”
He also said names of visitors with “suspicious jars or other items” were not documented because they did not commit a crime by possessing them and ”it would be unreasonable to document names of visitors based on what they might or might not do.”
Howard responded to McCraw’s with “disappointment with the lack of clarity that he provides.”
“At the end of the day, we are still left with unsubstantiated claims, allegations of suspicious jars but no actual evidence,” she said. “The lack of onsite documentation or eyewitnesses — either from officers or members of the public — seems to undercut the assertions laid out in DPS’ original press release and now their response letter. To be frank, it doesn’t pass the smell test. ”
McCraw added to the list of items that were confiscated and discarded by police including ”paint, confetti, glitter, bottles of bubbles, bags of balloons (not inflated), handheld air horns, a bag full of tomatoes” and two bricks, which were being used to prop doors open and were not going to be used as projectiles, he said.
The Express-News has requested records from the Department of Public Safety regarding the July 12 searches and items discarded.
Those who #Stand4Life should get to know Jason Vaughn; as one of the effective leaders for life in Texas, he’s making history! Here’s his recount of the events of last week:
Late Friday night we won the battle to reduce abortions in Texas! It was a great night and I am so excited to be a part of history. I’ve said before that the world may never know my name, but perhaps one day I will hear my God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant. You see that man there? I used you to save him from being aborted and I used him to change the world.”
It was a long and tiring week. There were some nights when I fell asleep in my clothes from the day. I had the privilege to work amazing men and women who love the people of Texas and want to see the end of abortion.
For those interested I want to walk you through the week.
Read the rest and see the pictures and videos he uses to document Texas’ #Stand4Life, via Standing for Life – The Unfinished Story | Twisted Conservative.
So, after telling us all these years that they don’t spend money from tax funds for their abortion business, Planned Parenthood is now saying that their facilities are often in the same buildings as the “separate” affiliates that don’t do abortions and that meeting the standards of an ambulatory care center will shut down both businesses.
Planned Parenthood operates 10 abortion clinics in the state that would be mandated to raise to the new standards. The abortion clinics, by law, are separate entities and must be separately funded from health centers where cancer screenings take place.
Planned Parenthood officials acknowledged that, but said some abortion clinics and health centers are housed within the same buildings. She suggested that if it were too expensive to upgrade the abortion clinics, then it could also force a shut-down of the health care clinics in the same building.
Officials could not say how many of the 10 abortion clinics are adjacent or within the same building as health care centers.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, responded by email and cited 55 health care centers already have been shuttered in Texas.
That assertion is based on legislative funding cuts from two years ago and is not related to the pending legislation.
And the previously closed health centers are not related to the assertion made in the advertisement.
Health centers that do not provide abortions would not be affected by the legislation.
Remember that University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll that showed that 63% or 62% (depending on whether the question mentioned pain or not) of registered voters in Texas wanted a ban on abortion after 20 weeks? Well, it seems that most US voters agree.This poll found that 59% of voters would support a ban, while only 30% oppose it.
The Huffington Post, not a conservative website at all, solicited a scientific poll by the same group that did the UT/TT poll, YouGov. These results agree with last month’s Gallup poll revealing that 64% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the second 3 months of pregnancy and 80% would make it illegal in the last 3 months.
The HuffPost isn’t making a big deal out of the poll, focusing on the conflicting views of the public rather than on the results of the poll itself. In fact, from my GoogleNews search, it doesn’t appear that (as of 7 AM today) anyone other than a couple of blogs (at the Washington Post and the Weekly Standard), National Right to Life, and LifeNews.com are reporting the poll!
. . .as someone whose mother chose not to abort him!
Democrat Ruth McClendon, from District 120 of San Antonio, proposed an Amendment to HB 2 today that she thinks is necessary, “if we’re not going to allow women to control their own bodies.” The Amendment would re-define “child” as one,
B. whose mother declares in writing in accordance with rules adopted by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, that, because of Section 245.010 (a), Health and Safety Code, or Subchapters C and D, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code, the mother chose not to or did not have access to a facility to exercise her right to an abortion at the time the child was born.
Isn’t it obvious that the mother of each and every born child chose not to abort them? Whether or not there’s a “constitutional right?”
And, please, “at the time the child was born?” Does that mean the mother chose not to abort at birth or that she made the declaration at the time of birth?
Representative Kenneth Sheets, Republican from the Dallas-area District 107, explained that his family is going through adoption and that he knows that the same benefits are available to his family and to everyone.
[R]emind me again why pro-abortion activists want healthy five-month pregnant women to abort their healthy child in dirty, unsafe abortion clinics?
Wendy Davis opposed a bill that gives women seeking abortions the same level of safety as women seeking LASIK on a Friday afternoon. Should I have feel empowered as a Texas woman that I can currently get a D&E for an unplanned pregnancy at a place with lower standards than where I could get a endoscopy for an acid reflux diagnosis? What is so “pro-woman” about lower health and safety standards for abortions?
via Wendy’s Wasted Voice: Why Fighting the Texas Abortion Bill Was Not ‘Pro-Woman’ « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.
“Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?” he said, adding that even Davis “was born into difficult circumstances.”
“I know she’s proud of where she has found herself in life,” Perry told reporters after his speech. “I’m proud that she has been able to take advantage of her intellect and her hard work, but she didn’t come from particularly good circumstances.”
How sad that the editors who wrote these titles cannot see these statements as compliments.
Update: fixed the links. BBN
Rush was talking about the Supreme Court ruling on gay “marriage,” but he might as well have been talking about the Texas Dems, Cecile Richards, and last night’s Mob at the Texas Capitol:
I have often said that what animates people on the left — what motivates them, what informs them — is defeating us. No matter how, no matter what, no matter what it means. Their hatred for us overwhelms anything else. No matter the result, victory that includes impugning and demeaning and insulting us is what they seek. It’s what makes them happy. Now, the left politicizes everything, and in this case, hardball politics became the name of the game.
In the Texas Senate, the filibuster is a method of allowing a minority viewpoint known. The minority Legislator is allowed to speak without time limits and without unwanted interruptions, as long as he or she follows the rules laid out beforehand.
Windy Wendy Davis began a filibuster. She knew the rules, and she broke them. Her fellow Democrat Senators engaged in stalling tactics, but it was the noise and chaos in the gallery that made the three minutes of difference that killed the Bill.
You can watch the Senate video at this page.The
Senators West, Whitmire,Watson, Ellis, Van de Putte, Zaffirini, and (of course) Senator Davis proved to all of us that they value the elective abortion of human beings above orderly government and Legislators.
I was, unfortunately, not shocked that Senator Leticia Van de Putte encouraged the gallery to disrupt the Senate. It also appears that she lied about the timing of her motion to adjourn. See the roll call vote beginning about 12:19/15:50. Note that she spoke and that the temporary President, Senator Duncan, responded after the roll call began. 12:31
I was surprised that the gallery wasn’t cleared much earlier, even though it might have meant that I would have had to leave. However, until the last hour, the outbreaks were intermittent and quickly calmed down.
My friends and I were very concerned about the reaction of those who so clearly showed no respect for the rest of us and who greatly outnumbered the State Troopers. Every seat was full, the pro-life crowd was greatly outnumbered and the halls were crammed with more people in orange. When the standing and shouting became constant, the Lt Governor signaled to the Troopers who began to remove people in an orderly manner.
More Troopers arrived, but they were constantly at risk of physical confrontation, with some of the Orange shirts resisting the request for them to file out. At one point, the Troopers were forced to lock the West doors of the Gallery and the Mob continued to push from the hall and fill the Rotunda.
I certainly didn’t want to be in the middle of a fight with these people and am grateful that the Troopers kept some semblance of order. I don’t believe that there was a way to clear the gallery earlier or with less disruption than we had and am proud of the State Troopers.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published their white paper on “fetal awareness” in 2011. (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Fetal Awareness – Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice. London: RCOG Press 2010 http://www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/RCOGFetalAwarenessWPR0610.pdf Accessed June 24, 2013).
Here is a peer-reviewed, “editor’s choice” editorial outlining the flaws in that paper. “Fetal awareness and fetal pain: the Emperor’s new clothes” by Dr Martin Ward Platt, Newcastle Neonatal Service, of the Royal Victoria Infirmary http://fn.bmj.com/content/96/4/F236.long#ref-1 (Accessed June24, 2013).
The author, Dr. Platt, points out that the evidence for no fetal awareness until birth has no evidence in humans, only in animals. He further points out that it goes against our experience with sleep/wake cycles and what we know about the ability of the fetus to learn his mother’s voice and other learning, including long-term effects on brain anatomy and response to pain:
“So, what is the evidence that the human fetus lacks ‘awareness’? In a word, there is none. The only evidence, including the bit about the chemical environment, is in sheep and one or two other experimental animals. I have looked at the references in the report, and the references in the references, and when I finally got back to the primary literature I found no evidence for the contention that human fetuses lack awareness, or exist in some different conscious state, beyond the unwarranted extrapolation from sheep.
“In contradiction to the notion of the ‘unaware’ fetus, the everyday experience of pregnancy – the felt behaviours and responses of the unborn baby, especially to sound – as well as much primary research literature on the human fetus, contains strong evidence for an opposite view. There is an extensive literature, in humans, on fetal sleep and wakefulness, fetal motility, fetal memory, fetal hearing, fetal breathing and its control and fetal behaviour – and these are just examples that scratch the surface. None of this work is easily reconciled with the notion of a permanently unconscious human fetus. The third point in box 1 is simply not true.”
“. . . the precautionary principle of prevention and treatment of pain in case it is being experienced, which is an ethical rather than a scientific argument, nor does it affect the evidence in relation to the long term neurobiological effects of pain experiences in preterm babies.”
. . . “One notices statements in the report such as: “Interpretation of existing data indicates that cortical processing of pain perception, and therefore the ability of the fetus to feel pain, cannot occur before 24 weeks of gestation”. We could rewrite this as ‘in theory they can’t feel pain, therefore they don’t’. It is the substitution of wishful thinking for empirical enquiry. It reminds me of my days as a medical student when I was taught that once the periosteum was anaesthetised, bone marrow aspiration was painless because there were no nerve endings in the bone. As soon as I came to perform bone marrow aspiration I realised that, whether there were supposed to be nerve endings or not, the procedure caused deep bone pain. So: should we deny patients’ real experiences on entirely theoretical grounds, or accept them and look harder for the underlying cause? We now know that bone is richly innervated, but older techniques of bone histology were unable to demonstrate the fibres.”
BTW, Here’s the part of that (debunked by Dr Platt) 2011 RCOG paper that I found most interesting:
“One possible solution is to recognise that the newborn infant might be said to feel pain, whereas only the older infant can experience that they are in pain and explicitly share their condition with others as an acknowledged fact of being.”
Orange t-shirts admittedly outnumbered those of us in blue at the Texas State Capitol on Sunday, June 23. However, in the long run, what mattered in the passage of the House version of Senator Hegar’s Senate Bill 5, sponsored in the House by State Representative Jodi Laubenberg, is that Texas voters had sent a clear majority of pro-life Republicans to the House of Representatives.
If you’ve always wondered about the meaning of “chubbing,” look at the 6/23/13 record of the House video, available at the House website. Pro-abortion Democrat after Dem took the microphone to bring an amendment, with fellow pro-abortion Dems standing to ask questions and run out the clock.
You can also watch the effects of “POO,” or calling for “points of order” around 4:30 PM. House Democrats called for a review of the Rules, resulting in adjournment and restart after a delay of 2 hours.
As to those t-shirts, someone showed up with 1000 t-shirts to give away. Where did that money come from? Interestingly, the women who gave out the shirts also wore Planned Parenthood buttons and successfully instructed those in the shirts how to act in the Gallery. And the orange shirts obeyed immediately.
One theme the Dems repeat is that SB 5 is not the protection for women that the Republicans say it is. They claim that pro-life laws are not about human life and ethics, but rather, simply about winning Republican primaries. This is a great example of “projection” of one’s own motives and wishes onto another. While I believe that Jessica Farrar would abort everyone with spina bifida and that Thompson is convinced that the embarrassment of the trauma of rape and incest is cured by abortion, the ultimate reason for the long night of interruptions and delays is that the clock is running out on the Special Session. If the Dems manage to delay long enough, SB 5 will not pass in the House. Even when it passes, the time used up in the House decreases the time that will have to be wasted in blocking it by filibuster in the Senate.
In the long run, the Democrat members in the Texas Legislature have repeatedly called for unfettered and unregulated elective abortion on demand.They claim that abortion is better for women and families than spending money on babies and children, that allowing babies to be born will ruin women’s lives, that it’s better to abort children with “fetal anomalies” and “birth defects” even when the “defective” human could live and make his or her own way through life. Senfronia Thompson even brought out a coat hanger to shake at the House and claimed that the cure for the “embarrassment” of the trauma of rape and incest is abortion, even after 20 weeks. Every one of the Dems seemed to have no understanding that the facility improvements will not be required for 15 months.
SB5 was passed finally in the House this morning. It will now have to go back to the Senate. There may not be time enough for reconciliation with the Senate version because of delays caused by both the House Republicans and House Dems. I hope that the protections in the Bill become law to protect the women who make the choice to abort their children and to protect the lives of fetuses at 20 weeks and greater.
Edited 7/11/13 for grammar and spelling errors – BBN
Caution: very graphic story. The video by Live Action is not for the unprepared, so I’m not going to embed it here.
Live Action has released another of their under-cover videos, this one focusing on a woman who is 23 weeks pregnant who claims to be seeking an abortion at 23 weeks pregnancy. Live Action is a non-profit, pro-life group that is notorious for videos that expose Planned Parenthood and other abortionists’ attitudes toward abortion as birth control, late term abortion, gender selection, prostitution and even race-selective abortions.
A New York Times article, points out the different roles of the two women representing the clinic. But still, both women were matter of fact about the methods and results of a 23 week abortion.
Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said the group would release more videos as part of its campaign against late-term abortions. Sunday’s video was shot at the Dr. Emily Women’s Health Center on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx. The release comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has thrown his support behind legislation that will guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, if her health is in danger or if the fetus is not viable. The current law permits abortion after 24 weeks only if a woman’s life is in danger, although it is not enforced because federal court rulings have allowed less restrictive late-term abortions.
We’ve all been hearing about the supposed “War on Women” by Conservative law makers – and, by extension, voters – in Texas. Well, President Obama and Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebellius just fired another shot in the war against Texas and State’s rights.
UPDATE: In an emailed statement, Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams says that the agency just received notice that it will lose the Title X grant and is “reviewing the information to get a sense of the full impact.” The agency hopes the transition is smooth and the provider base remains strong, she wrote.
EARLIER: The federal government has pulled from the state of Texas millions in family planning funding, granting the money instead to a coalition led by the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, which says it can serve a greater number of women with the available funds.
For more than four decades, federal Title X funding has been dedicated to funding family planning services and covering clinics’ infrastructure costs. The funds are generally granted to providers (like Planned Parenthood) and/or to state health agencies. In Texas since 1980, the majority of the funding has been administered by the Department of State Health Services — roughly $18 million in 2012, for example; since 2009, DSHS has been the sole grantor of Title X funds.
(Edit, maybe it’s only half of that.)
Before this year, Federal tax dollars came back to Texas in two major funds: the Women’s Health Program and Family Planning, or Title X funds. Texas “matched” a certain amount and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services administered the dispersion of the money. Because the money paid for or freed up other funds for staff, marketing, and “infrastructure” or office overhead, PP was helped to keep their abortion clinics running. The overall effect was that State matching tax dollars helped PP to funnel patients, if not dollars, to their abortion clinics.
Texas was forced to make severe Budget cuts across the board in 2011, including Family Planning funds. This led to prioritizing what little money we had:
“State lawmakers cut funding for family planning services by two-thirds in the last legislative session, dropping the two-year family planning budget from $111 million to $37.9 million for the 2012-13 biennium. They also approved a tiered budget system for family planning funds, which gives funding priority to public health clinics, such as federally qualified health centers and comprehensive clinics that provide primary and preventative care over clinics that only provide family planning services.”
Warning: the article is graphic.
“If I think about it for a moment, there are obviously lots of policy implications of Gosnell’s baby charnel house. How the hell did this clinic operate for seventeen years without health inspectors discovering his brutal crimes? Are there major holes in our medical regulatory system? More to the point, are those holes created, in part, by the pressure to go easy on abortion clinics, or more charitably, the fear of getting tangled in a hot-button political issue? These have clear implications for abortion access, and abortion politics.
“After all, when ostensibly neutral local regulations threaten to restrict abortion access–as with Virginia’s recent moves to require stricter regulatory standards for abortion clinics, and ultrasounds for women seeking abortions–the national media thinks that this is worthy of remark. If local governments are being too lax on abortion clinics, surely that is also worthy of note.
Guess what? Virtually no media notice!
Two Planned Parenthood nurses quit their jobs because of dirty and dangerous work conditions and what they called ‘a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions’.
The former employees of the Delaware branch have spoken out about what allegedly takes place behind its closed doors and said that a rush to get patients in and out leaves the operating tables soiled and unclean and that doctors don’t wear gloves.
Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, former employee said: ‘It was just unsafe. I couldn’t tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was.
‘It’s not washed down, it’s not even cleaned off. It has bloody drainage on it.’
Lest we forget, as Senator Zaffirini reminded us this afternoon, Leticia Van de Putte is a rabid advocate for Planned Parenthood. And, here’s who she was in 2003, when she ran away with the other Democrats to thwart the will of the voters of Texas on redistricting. (Edit – She’s the one who suggested to the 82nd Legislature that traditional marriage would be strengthened if the State passed a law requiring all marriages to include “some sex.” — clarified for context. BBN)
Here’s the story I wrote in 2003, published online at the time by the Washington Dispatch and on FreeRepublic.com
Racism in Texas Politics? Exclusive commentary by Beverly Nuckols
Aug 7, 2003
From the Op-Ed pages of the Houston Chronicle on August 6, 2003:
To paraphrase one of the greatest civil rights activists of the 20th century, “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Fannie Lou Hamer uttered these infamous words during her crusade in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage political participation and the right to vote by African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities.
“We and our fellow senators are in Albuquerque, N.M., because the same important issue faces the citizens and state of Texas.”
These words were written by three Houston Democrats: State Senators Rodney Ellis, Mario Gallegos and John Whitmire. They are members of a mixed-race, single-party gang of eleven Texas State Senators who fled across the border to Albuquerque, New Mexico in order to shut down the legislative process of Texas by denying the State Senate a quorum. The group, alternately called the “Killer D’s,” “Chicken D’s,”or “AlbuTurkeys”, panicked Monday afternoon, July 28th, and left the Austin Capitol Building to board two private jets provided by wealthy Texas businessmen, David Rogers, whose family owns the First National Bank of Edinburg, and Greg LaMantia, a partner in L&F Distributors for Anheuser-Busch in McAllen. They have set up camp in $150 to $200 per day rooms and suites at the Marriott Pyramid. The Chair of the 2004 Democratic Convention, who just happens to be New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson, immediately sent State Troopers to provide round-the-clock protection so that the Senators would be safe to make statements such as this to the media. Virtually every news article printed, and most of the television or radio reports, about the attempted-coup-by-flying-the-coop quote the flock of eleven about the races of the voters in Texas, but never a word is said about the racial diversity of their own group, much less about the divisive nature of their comments.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who is the current Senate Democratic Caucus, former Chair of the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus and the apparent gang leader of the runaways, engaged in similar rhetoric when I met with her at her hotel hideout on Sunday, August 3. (I drove and stayed in a much cheaper room in the same hotel.) Senator Van de Putte admitted that her constituency in the Bexar County area will not be touched by any of the proposed redistricting maps, because the Hispanic population is protected under Civil Rights laws and locked in by court rulings. However, the Senator with the Dutch surname repeatedly talked about her interests as “Hispanic” “Latino” and “minority,” while using the term, “Anglo” to represent those who oppose her and/or any group of people that she believed I would support. The Senator didn’t know that her use of the word “Anglo” would offend me, because of her own bias. She also doesn’t know how proud I am of my Cherokee ancestry, which gave me a great ability to tan instead of sunburn, and which made my eyes as dark as hers. And she evidently prefers to ignore the fact that 44% of Hispanic voters voted for the brown-eyed Republican Governor Rick Perry in 2002.
And then later, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram contains this little tidbit:
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, recalled that in 1993, Senate Democrats were pushing a resolution to have state judges elected from Texas House districts rather than running in countywide elections. At the time, the House had a solid Democratic majority while Republicans were winning countywide elections in many urban areas.
When the resolution came up for a vote in the Senate, most of the Republicans had left the floor, which left the body short of the 21 members it needed for a quorum.
“They didn’t leave the state; they just left the Senate,” Ellis recalled. “But they did succeed in shutting the place down, even if it was just for a day. I remember somebody asking me if it was like the Killer Bees (the nickname for the Senate Democrats who fled for four days in 1979), and I said it was more like the Killer WASPs.” (emphasis mine)
As a citizen of the State of Texas and an American, I am sick and tired of the racist comments and views of the eleven Democrat rogues who have run away to New Mexico in an act of extortion against the Governor and Lieutenant Governor who are only responding to the will of the voting majority. These cowardly partisans seem determined to divide the State along racial lines and blur their own political agenda. They have waged a campaign in the media to deliberately imply that the State’s redistricting effort is an attempt to take the votes from certain racial groups. In fact, the actions of the Democrats – now and in May when 51 Democrats hired buses to take them to Ardmore, Oklahoma – steal the power of the votes of the majority of Texans: those who voted for the Legislators who did show up for work when they were supposed to.
Beverly B. Nuckols, MD is a pro-life pro-human rights Family Practitioner from New Braunfels, Texas. Beverly can be contacted by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that the providers are up to date and much more widespread than the few PP clinics. The numbers of patients served in 2011 are all before the new program was established along with the outreach by DSHS to contract with more doctors and clinics.
The dots represent approved state women’s health program providers as of October, such as clinics or private physician practices. Many have more than than one doctor at the location.The color designates the number of Medicaid Women’s Health Program clients the provider saw in fiscal 2011, the most recent year data is available.
Next stop: getting our money back from the Feds!
Granted a legal victory Thursday by a federal appeals court, state officials said they will begin working quickly to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program, which provides contraceptives and health care to low-income women.
The state also reversed course on funding for the health program, saying it would seek to have the federal government continue funding it, rather than switching to a state-funded program as planned.
“In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice,” Gov. Rick Perry said.
Thursday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected because it reaffirmed an August opinion that said Texas could legally exclude Planned Parenthood — or any organization that provides abortions or promotes the procedure — from the program.
But in a new wrinkle, state officials said the court victory will prompt them to press the federal government to continue providing money for the program — a reversal of U.S. policy that could save tens of millions of dollars in state money but is unlikely to happen without a fight.
Guess what? States are allowed to decide what they want to spend tax money on!
From the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court on Texas’ Law prohibiting our Family Planning tax funds from going to any “affiliate” of an abortion provider or anyone who “promotes” abortion: ”
Although this restriction functions as a speech-based funding condition, it also functions as a direct regulation of the content of a state program, and is therefore constitutional . . . “[W]hen the government appropriates public funds to promote a particular policy of its own it is entitled to say what it wishes.” Rosenberger, 515 U.S. at 833 (citing Rust, 500 U.S. at 194).
Once again, please look at the Texas Tribune’s own interactive map or the State’s data base of doctors and clinics who have contracted with Texas’ WHP. Those Planned Parenthood clinics aren’t located in health care shortage areas. There are no shortages of willing providers for the services in question in the areas surrounding the abortion affiliates.
The San Antonio Express News published an editorial August 9th, by O. Ricardo Pimentel, entitled, “Texas tries to get between you, your doctor:”
For them, the issue isn’t abortion; it’s about the doctor-patient relationship, patient health and the ability to put everything on the table that needs to be discussed. Even if it’s abortion.
In a recent letter to the state, the Texas Medical Association, joined by other medical groups, said Texas is about to embark on a plan for providing medical care to low-income women that will impose a “gag order” on discussing abortion even on doctors working with patients not in the program.
Other groups, weighing in during the public comment period on proposed state rules, have similar concerns.
It’s a plan, they say, that will ensure not enough doctors for this program willing to provide care, including family planning services. And this, they say, will guarantee more unintended pregnancies, more abortions and more illness that might have been prevented for low-income women.
Among those also commenting on the rules were the Center for Public Policy Priorities, and leaders of Planned Parenthood entities in the state, South Texas groups among them.
Trust me, for everyone who is mentioned above, it’s about abortion. The law doesn’t stop anyone from discussing or even promoting true contraception that doesn’t end the life of our youngest children of tomorrow.
And it is about “elective abortions:” those that are performed on health babies in healthy mothers. We’re not talking about the more controversial abortions in cases of rape and incest, much less in the cases of congenital disorders that are “not compatible with life outside the womb and certainly not in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Since when do elective abortions “need to be discussed?”
How difficult is it to understand that Texas taxpayers should not pay for “promotion” of abortion? Or that we most certainly do not want our State tax funds to go to doctors who perform elective abortions on healthy babies and healthy mothers?
While I don’t speak for the Society, I am an elected delegate for my County Medical Society to the TMA House of Delegates and I believe that most of our members would agree with me on this. I am very much in favor of restricting payment from our limited State funds to only those doctors and organizations that provide comprehensive and continuing medical care for the whole woman and her whole family. With Texas Family Doctors, Internal Medicine Docs, Pediatricians and OB/Gyns reeling from the lack of increasing fees from Medicare and decreases in Medicaid funding, why not help keep them in business by adding the availability of billing the State for screening tests like pap smears, exams for breast masses, diabetes and high blood pressure?
In fact, that’s what the Legislature decided: that money would be prioritized. First come the comprehensive care docs, hospitals, and county and city clinics. Planned Parenthood is never mentioned, although there is a section of the law that absolutely prohibits the State from contracting with anyone who “promotes” abortion *if there are other qualified providers available.*
Texas DHS has already identified more than enough doctors and clinics that qualify under the law. These doctors can actually treat the diseases for which the Texas Women’s Health Plan screens. Our Texas Legislature made a wise decision when they agreed that it doesn’t make sense to send our few dollars to a clinic that treats a very narrow medical spectrum in an intermittent manner.
And the law has already saved human lives: Austin city and Travis County taxes once paid for 400 elective abortions each year. A year ago, the law achieved what the taxpayers who protested this use of their money couldn’t do: Austin and Travis County health clinics were forced to stop funding those abortions.
If you have a family doctor, consider a polite call to his or her front desk asking them to let the TMA know their views on using Texas’ tax funds to support Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
You might also consider contacting Texas Alliance for Life and/or you local Crisis Pregnancy Center to let them know that you support their efforts to keep your State (and federal) tax funds from paying for the ending of lives of our Texans of tomorrow.
Based on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of our United States is designed to secure our rights to life, liberty and property for every human being, not just the ones who can speak out. Those of us who can speak, should join in the effort to protect the rights of all, including the unborn children of tomorrow, male and female, and everyone who objects to government-sponsored efforts to end their lives. The recent Obama mandate that infringes on the First Amendment protection of the right of free exercise of religion and their on-going efforts to force Texas to fund Planned Parenthood with State taxes is in direct violation of the Bill of Rights.
I received an email tonight from the group, “Women Speak for Themselves” asking for comments on next Saturday’s Washington, DC rally sponsored by pro-abortion, anti-family and anti-First Amendment rights groups:
This Saturday, on the National Capitol lawn, Think Progress (a George Soros funded group) is hosting a “We Are Women” rally. Soros’ group, along with some of their co-sponsors, the usual—the National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, and the National Women’s Political Caucus—along with some more peculiar groups—Rock The Slut Vote, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Reformed Whores entertainers, among others—have a specific goal in mind.
“Our mission,” their website reads, “is to bring national attention to the ongoing war on women’s rights…”
Not surprisingly, the language on their website gives the appearance that they’re claiming to speak for all women on matters of healthcare, family, and freedom…which makes this just the type of event at which we need to make our voices heard! And so, here’s where YOU come in.
Prior to the rally, we’ll be releasing a statement to the press, informing them that there are women with alternative views on these matters, should the press wish to include us in the discussion. We’d like to add YOUR voices to that statement.
Send us a brief statement (2-3 sentences), articulating why as a woman you stand for and believe freedom includes protection for life, family, and/or religion. Be sure to include your full name, city and state, and your occupation, if you’d like—along with permission for us to include your information and quote in our press release.
If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to use our two sets of talking points for ideas (though your statement need not be solely focused on the HHS mandate), and try to stay focused on why you’re FOR our view of women’s freedom, as opposed to AGAINST the view of women’s freedom being put forth by Soros and cohorts.
Thanks for your help with this….I look forward to your statements!
My best to you,
P.S. I’m told some pro-lifers will be gathering at the North Capitol Lawn on Saturday, to hold a counter protest. The rally starts at 11am, I believe, so feel free to head on over, with signs and pro-life gear, if you’d like to be a joyful example of the alternative.
I wish I could attend the counter protest, but I’m committed to a meeting for the Christian Medical and Dental Association that day. If you can attend, please do. Either way, send a message to http://womenspeakforthemselves.com/ or @womenspeak2012!
Please Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services to Register Your Opposition to Tax Funding for Planned Parenthood!
Deadline on MONDAY
Please immediately contact the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and register your opposition to tax funding for Planned Parenthood in a new state health program.
DSHS is creating a new state-funded program, called the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP), to provide preventative health care for low-income women. The services will including some STD screening and treatments, screening for breast and cervical cancer, and contraceptives. The new state program will replace the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which is expected to come to an end in October. The new TWHP will provide the same or more services as the Medicaid program it replaces.
See a sample message and contact information below. Comments must be received by Monday, August 6.
Email — click here to email to CHSS@dshs.state.tx.us.
“Dear Ms. Garcia,
“This is a comment regarding the proposed rules for the Texas Women’s Health Program published in the Texas Register on July 6, 2012.
“Please assure that Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide or promote elective abortion are not eligible for public funding under the Texas Women’s Health Program. Planned Parenthood runs 14 abortion facilities in Texas, and they promote elective abortion at every one of its sites in Texas even where they do not perform abortion. I do not want my tax dollars to go to organizations that perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning”
“—–Your name and address
For more information, visit Governor Rick Perry’s website, Fighting for Women’s Health: http://governor.state.tx.us/initiatives/womens_health/.
Here’s a (YouTube) video of Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director, Joe Pojman, Ph.D.: Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director. This video interviews Texas Alliance for Life’s board member, Dr. Beverly Nuckols: Beverly Nuckols MD, FAAFP, Family Physician
Texas Alliance for Life (TAL) is a non-sectarian, non-partisan, pro-life organization of people committed to protecting innocent human lives from conception through natural death through peaceful, legal means. TAL is a statewide organization based in the Texas capital.
twitter.com @TXAlliance4Life facebook.com/TexasAllianceforLife
At Monday night’s debate in Houston between Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, Republicans in the runoff for the US Senate race(Twitter #TxSen), I met a couple who said they were still “undecided” about who to vote for. They asked why I was supporting Lt. Governor David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz. They were surprised that I believed his record is so strong and hadn’t even heard about Ted Cruz’ speculation to reporters that Governor Perry wanted to get Lt. Governor Dewhurst elected because he wanted Dewhurst out of Austin. The fact that these two went to the effort to attend a debate on a Monday night made me believe that they are actually informed voters, but that if these two people don’t know the issues, perhaps many others don’t either.
I’ve covered some of this in other posts on WingRight, including my last Post, “An Open Letter to Texas Voters,” and you can read about the support David Dewhurst received from 18 of the 19 Republicans in the 31 member Texas Senate, here. Here are more specific reasons why I support pro-life, pro-marriage, small government candidate Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for US Senator from Texas.
As I’m sure you know, Texas has a quirky system, where our Lieutenant Governor is more powerful than our Governor in many respects. If you want to know what Lt. Governor Dewhurst will do in the US Senate, look at just some of the laws he’s helped pass over the last 10 yrs:
Governor Perry, with the help of Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Texas Senate, refused to accept those “Stimulus funds” for education and unemployment insurance that would have forced us to change our laws in 2011. Yes, we used some stimulus funds that didn’t require us to change our laws, but, as our former Senator, Phil Gramm said,
“(I)f the Congress had a vote on whether to build a cheese factory on the Moon, I would oppose it based on what I know now, and I cannot imagine the circumstance under which I would support it. But on the other hand, if Congress in its lack of wisdom decided to start a cheese factory on the Moon, I would want a Texas firm to do the engineering, I would want a Texas construction firm to do the construction, I would want the milk to come from Texas cows, and I would want the celestial distribution center to be in Dallas, Texas, or College Station, Texas, or somewhere else in my State.”
These are just the highlights of a career that began the same year that 11 Democrat Senators left Austin on a supporter’s plane in order to hide out in Albuquerque New Mexico for a full month in order to deny the Senate a Quorum and avoid losing the votes on Congressional redistricting.
You might have read that Dewhurst increased taxes, with the misleading statistic that our revenues went up over the last 10 years. Increased revenues do not necessarily mean increased taxes! They also go up with the growth of the economy. Texas’ population went up over 20% and our State added more jobs than all the other States combined in the same time period. These were good jobs, and they went to legal residents who come into our State at the rate of 1000 people a WEEK! The fact is that even the Club for Growth, who is now backing Mr. Cruz, stated last year that Texas’ spending has actually gone down over the last 10 years, when adjusted for population and inflation.
How did we spend that money? Mr Cruz knows exactly how: he was the lawyer who worked out a deal in Federal Court when he was Solicitor General that bound the State to increase spending on Medicaid. He uses this spending from his agreement against the Lt. governor.
You might also read that Dewhurst supported a “payroll tax,” or even an “income tax.” These accusations are based on words in a press release and an editorial against the Lt Governor, from 2006. These weren’t the words used in the Bill that is bandied about, and that Bill never became law. In the law that was eventually passed, there are three ways to calculate our State business franchise tax. One of those is a tax based on employee pay, minus benefits. But there are two other ways, and the business chooses the best way for them. More telling is that our Attorney General won the case proving that the tax is not an income tax, last November. Cruz knew that his claim was wrong as from the beginning of his ads and web campaign against Dewhurst.
You can find my other posts on the US Senate race here.
Here is the original 2010 platform – I’ve only copied the section that was disputed. The 2010 Platform was used by the 2012 Temporary Platform Committee as a beginning for our new 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas. (At least for now, the entire 2010 document is online at the Tarrant County Republican Party website. The 2012 Platform is here at the RPT website.) (Thank you Tarrant County Republican Party!)
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE AND PROMOTING HEALTH
PROTECTING INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE
Party Candidates and the Platform on Protecting Innocent Human Life– We implore our Party to support, financially or with in-kind contributions, only those candidates who support protecting innocent human life. Further, we strongly encourage the State Republican Executive Committee to hear and recognize the longstanding and overwhelmingly consistent voice of the grass roots and revise its by-laws to make this action binding on our Party.
Partial Birth Abortion– We oppose partial birth abortion. We recommend that Congress eliminate from all federal court jurisdictions all cases involving challenges to banning Partial Birth Abortion.
Right To Life – All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children. We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or abortion–related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support abortion. We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We affirm our support for the appointment and election of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. We oppose legislation allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration to the terminally ill or handicapped. Until our final goal of total Constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we beseech the Texas Legislature in consideration of our state’s rights, to enact laws that restrict and regulate abortion including:
1. parental and informed consent;
2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. prohibition of partial birth and late term abortions; and
7. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.
Sonograms – We urge the Texas legislature in its next biennial session to enact legislation requiring a sonogram be performed and offered as part of the consent process to each mother seeking an elective abortion.
Harassing Pregnancy Centers– We urge legislation to protect pregnancy centers from harassing ordinances to require pregnancy centers to post signs in violation of their Constitutional rights. We further oppose any regulation of pregnancy centers in Texas which interfere with their private, charitable business.
Choose Life – We ask the Legislature to provide Texans opportunity to purchase “Choose Life” license plates.
Parental Consent– We call on the Legislature to require parental consent for any form of medical care to minors. We urge electoral defeat of judges who through judicial activism seek to nullify the Parental Consent Law by granting bypasses to minor girls seeking abortions. We support the addition of a legislative requirement for the reporting of judicial bypasses to parental consent on an annual basis to the Department of State Health Services and such reports shall be made available to the public. Further, we encourage the Congress to remove confidentiality mandates for minors from family planning service programs operating under Title X of the Public Health Services Act and Medicaid.
Protection of Women’s Health– Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions. We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives. We urge the state government and the Department of State Health Services to ensure that all abortion providers are in compliance with this informed consent law and to ensure that all pregnancy centers and other entities assisting women in crisis pregnancies have equal access to the informational brochures created by the Department of State Health Services.
Alternatives to Abortion– We urge the Department of State Health Services to provide adequate quantities of The Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory to anyone that works with pregnant women.
RU 486 – We urge the FDA to rescind approval of the physically dangerous RU-486 and oppose limiting the manufacturers’ and distributors’ liability.
Morning After Pill– We oppose sale and use of the dangerous “Morning After Pill.”
Gestational Contracts– We believe rental of a woman’s womb makes child bearing a mere commodity to the highest bidder and petition the Legislature to rescind House Bill 724 of the 78th Legislature. We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.
Unborn Child Pain Protection – We support legislation that requires doctors, at first opportunity, to provide to a woman who is pregnant, information about the nervous system development of her unborn child and to provide pain relief for her unborn if she orders an abortion. (Language added here to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.)
Unborn Victims of Violence Legislation– We urge the State to ensure that the Prenatal Protection Law is interpreted accurately and consider the unborn child as an equal victim in any crime, including domestic violence.
Abortion Clinics – We propose legislation that holds abortion clinics to the same health regulations as other medical facilities and that subjects clinics to the same malpractice liabilities. We oppose any public funding for Planned Parenthood or other organizations/facilities that provide, advocate or promote abortions.
Abortion Requirements for Hospitals– We propose legislation that entitles hospitals to refuse to perform abortions because government has no moral authority to require such an abortion.
Conscience Clause– We believe that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, any employees of hospitals and insurance companies, health care organizations, medical and scientific research students, and any employee should be protected by Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs, including but not limited to abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration. We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to strengthen and clarify the current conscience clause in the Occupational Code to include the above-mentioned persons and practices. We further encourage legislation that requires hospitals and clinics to inform all health care personnel of their right to refuse to become involved in abortion or euthanasia, and their protection from prosecution and retaliation under Texas law.
Fetal Tissue Harvesting – We support legislation prohibiting experimentation with human fetal tissue and prohibiting the use of human fetal tissue or organs for experimentation or commercial sale. Until such time that fetal tissue harvesting is illegal, any product containing fetal tissue shall be so labeled.
Stem Cell Research– We oppose any legislation that would allow for the creation and/or killing of human embryos for medical research. We encourage stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means which does not kill human embryos. We oppose any state funding of research that destroys/kills human embryos. We encourage the adoption of existing embryos. We call for legislation to withhold state and/or federal funding from institutions that engage in scientific research involving the killing of human embryos or human cloning.
Human Cloning– Each human life, whether created naturally or through an artificial process, deserves protection. We confirm that somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is the process by which a human being is cloned, and that SCNT creates a unique human being with the same properties of a human embryo created through the union of sperm and egg. We seek a ban on human cloning for reproductive purposes (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is implanted in a womb and the human clone is birthed). We also seek a ban on research cloning (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is created, grown in the laboratory, and then destroyed when its stem cells are extracted for research purposes). Furthermore, criminal penalties should be created and experimenters prosecuted who participate in the cloning of human beings. No government or state funding should be provided for any human cloning.
Patient Protection– We support patients’ rights by calling on the state legislature to amend the Advance Directive Act to establish due process of law and ensure that a physician’s decision to deny life saving treatment against the patient’s will or advance directive is not due to economic or racial discrimination or discrimination based on disability. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring hospitals intending or threatening to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the patient’s wishes or their advance directive to continue all treatment and care for such patients pending transfer to another facility.
Gene Manufacturing – We support a ban on research that alters human DNA in living human beings at any stage of life, including the altering of artificial, manufactured, and natural genes and chromosomes.
The final language from the 2012 Platform is posted here. The portions in red are the amendments I came prepared to present to the Committee. The amended and substituted 2010 language can be found here for comparison.
PROTECTING INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE
Right To Life – All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed.
Roe v. Wade – We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Human Life Amendment – We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution.
Natural Life – We support the sanctity of human life and therefore, oppose genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
Abortion – We support the elimination of public funding or the use of public facilities to advocate, perform or support elective abortions.
Abortion Legislation – Until our final goal of total constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we support laws that restrict and regulate abortion including, but not limited to :
1. parental and informed consent;
*Add #2 . Prohibition of elective abortion in the second trimester in light of the ability of the unborn child to feel pain and current viability at 21 weeks.
2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. prohibition of partial birth late term abortions
7. the prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients;
8. new causes of action for so called “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life”; and
9. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.
Candidate Support – The Republican Party of Texas should provide financial support only to those candidates who support the right to life planks.
Alternatives to Abortion – We urge the Republican Party of Texas to assist in educating the public regarding alternatives to abortion.
Human Embryos– We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.
Conscience Clause – All persons and all entities have the right of conscience and should be protected under Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.
Fetal Tissue Harvesting and Stem Cell Research – We support legislation prohibiting experimentation or commercial use of human fetal tissue,which requires or is dependent upon the destruction of human life. We encourage stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means that does not kill human embryos.
Human Cloning – We seek a ban on human (cloning).
Patient Protection – We support patients’ rights by calling on the state legislature to amend the Advance Directive Act to allow more time for families to prepare an participate. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring continuing current treatment for patients pending transfer to another facility.
Why do I support David Dewhurst for Texas Senator?
From the Preamble to the 2010 Platform of the Republcan Party of Texas: The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas.”
The result of conservative government in Texas is clear. Our State’s direction with the leadership of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Governor Rick Perry is a Conservative example for the Nation. Their policies and achievements demonstrate the results of action based on the belief that true liberty is Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-business, holds the line on taxes, spending, torts, and Washington, DC interference and regulation.
Texas leads the Nation in the creation of jobs. Our unemployment rate went down to 6.9% in May, in spite of legal US immigrants that average close to a thousand a day. Lt. Governor Dewhurst has balanced our budget in Texas, even when it meant cutting $10 million in 2003 and $15 million in 2011. In fact, the 82nd Legislature cut Texas’ dollar amount spending below the previous biennial amount for the first time since WWII. Adjusted for inflation and population, Texas spends less than when Dewhurst took office.
And there is no contest when it comes to legislative victories on social issues. Texas’ Defense Of Marriage Act was passed not once but twice under Lt. Governor Dewhurst; the second time amended our State Constitution. Thanks to his leadership, Texas passed our own Prenatal Protection Act and the “Woman’s Right to Know” informed consent law in 2003. This year, we not only added sonograms to the informed consent law, we also managed to move all of our State health care funding away from abortion providers and any of their corporate affiliates. Yes, that’s right, Texas de-funded Planned Parenthood.
The 2011 Texas 82nd Legislature was also incredibly effective on protecting our State’s borders and Sovereignty; banning drivers’ licenses for illegals, getting Voter ID, allocating $400Million for border security, and changing the law to allow Texas authorities to turn illegal aliens over for timely deportation after they’ve served their jail time. And yet, Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s opponents ignore these victories, claiming that the Lieutenant Governor “killed” two Bills in 2011: the Transportation Security Agency Anti-Groping Bill and the Sanctuary Cities Bill. However, both the TSA and Sanctuary Cities Bills were passed by the Senate at different times. The problem was coordination with the House, where the Speaker refused to allow timely consideration of the Bill and opposition by some strong conservatives, including Steve Hotze and Norm Adams. In the Special Session, the TSA bill was passed by the Senate, along with the biennial budget and a landmark omnibus medical finance bill.
In fact, even the “failed” passage of the TSA Bill in the Senate during the 82nd Legislature’s Regular Session was an example of the power of Dewhurst. He is said to have “twisted arms,” along with Governor Perry, to get the vote to the floor, even going so far as to try to “suspend the rules” to bring it up out of order. The Democrat Senators block-voted to prevent the 2/3 vote necessary while every single Republican voted for it. It is likely that had the Lt. Governor not pushed for the suspension of the rules on the TSA Bill, the budget would have passed in the Regular Session if it hadn’t come down to the midnight filibuster by the Dems.
Finally, I support Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst because he’s proven that he believes that “The government has no money, it’s the people’s money.”
What happened: Texas passed a law last summer, SB 7, that specifically said that if the State is forced to give money to “entities that affiliate with abortion-promoting entities,” the State would shut down the Women;s Health Program. The Obama Administration tried to force the State to violate this law. Then, a Federal Judge ruled that the law couldn’t go into effect,
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday granted a preliminary injunction to require the state to keep Planned Parenthood in the program until he makes a decision on the merits of the case.
But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the injunction, which was granted by Judge Jerry E. Smith.
If the injunction had stood, there would be no Women’s Health Program in Texas. Planned Parenthood seems to think that if their corporation can’t have money, no one should. Luckily, Judge Smith understood the emergency.
Planned Parenthood wasn’t hard to replace. WingRight reported on the thousands of other doctors and clinics that participate in the WHP and how to find one in your area, here.
Update, 8 AM May 2:
The attacks are on against Judge Smith.
More at the usual suspects like the Texas Tribune.
Funny, the TT doesn’t take this opportunity to link to its own interactive map showing other providers or to link to Obama’s $61 million dollar grant to Texas public health clinics.
Planned Parenthood (“PP”) for years has used the media and fraud to bring in clients when those women could have gone to a family doctor or OB/Gyn. Below are three ways to find a local doctor who participates with the Women’s Health Program in Texas.
As a woman doctor, mother and grandmother from Texas, I support Governor Perry in his support of the law, passed once again by the Texas Legislature last summer, that prohibits any of our tax funds going to any “affiliate” of abortionists. Senate Bill 7, the huge law covering Texas medical financing, was passed in the Special Session of the 82nd Legislature and renewed a State prohibition on any Texas Medicaid funds going to “perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.” (See page 91.)
The Obama administration and countless media and op-ed articles would have us all believe that the law is new, but it’s not. The original Women’s Health Program (“WHP”) was created in 2005 and received a 5 year waiver from the Bush Administration in 2006, as finalized in these documents from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All of these facts are outlined in the Complaint filed by Attorney General Greg Abbott in his lawsuit against Kathleen Sebelius and Obama’s Health and Human Services:
11.From the outset of the Women’s Health Program, the Texas Legislature has explicitly prohibited taxpayer funds from going to entities that perform or promote elective abortions. The Legislature also prohibited taxpayer dollars from funding affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions. See id. § 32.0248(h) (“The department shall ensure that the money spent under the demonstration project, regardless of the funding source, is not used to perform or promote elective abortions. The department, for the purpose of the demonstration project, may not contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or are affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions.”).
Read the next few paragraphs of the Complaint for comments on dates and on approval of the waiver without restrictions on Texas’ prohibition on abortion providers. Please note that the waiver was requested in December, 2005, and approved in December, 2006, for a period of 5 years, to end December 31, 2011. It is not true, as reported by a spokesperson for Secretary Sebelius, that the waiver was denied.
Texas law prohibited State funds from going to any provider who performed or referred to elective abortions beginning in 2003. Under a provision known as “Rider 8,” the State began requiring recipients of Medicaid and Family Planning money to sign an affidavit that they did not perform or refer for elective abortions. Texas won when PP challenged Rider 8 in Federal Court. The various PP sub-corporations in the State then set up separate corporations for the “medical affiliates” that were not licensed to perform abortions and the “surgical affiliates” that did perform elective abortions. These were shams, as all of the corporations came under the direction of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and some even shared buildings and staff. It turned out that 4 of the facilities run by the PP Trust of San Antonio and South Texas didn’t even bother with the sham. They were found to be illegally performing medical abortions, and were fined and shut down in 2009 as unlicensed abortion clinics and for fraudulently billing Medicaid.
- There are more than 2,500 qualified providers in the WHP.
Planned Parenthood represents less than two percent of providers in the WHP.
- Planned Parenthood’s cost per client is 43 percent higher than most other providers, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
- In FY 2010, nearly 80 percent of women served received WHP services from non Planned Parenthood providers.
What did happen is that last year, Attorney General defined “affiliates.” Logically, subsidiaries of a given corporation, such as all the “medical affiliates” of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are “affiliates” of that corporation.
PP and their supporters would have us believe that hundreds of thousands of women will go without care because of the Texas law. On the contrary, those affiliates were easily replaced. Thousands of qualified doctors and clinics already participate with the Women’s Health Program in Texas.
And there are several ways to find one of the qualified providers for the Women’s Health Program in your town:
In Texas, we have “2-1-1,” a State services telephone information line. You can call 2-1-1 from any phone to find all sorts of assistance in your area, including doctors who participate with the WHP. I’ve heard that this may not be the most up to date or complete list, however.
Texas Tribune published an interactive map that highlights the color coded stark reality of the differences in numbers and in the distribution of PP versus the many doctors who currently participate with the Women’s Health Program. Notice that Planned Parenthood only shows up where there are lots of other providers. Where there aren’t many doctors, there are definitely no PP facilities.
For the most accurate and largest number of WHP qualified doctors and clinics in your area, Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services has a search engine available here. Use the “Advanced Search,” then choose Plan type:”Traditional Medicaid,” Provider type: “Specialist” (although this will actually bring up family physicians and other primary care docs), and Waiver type: “Women’s Health Program.” You can search by County or by Zip Code.
Hopefully this information will help you answer the critics of Texas, our Legislature, Commissioner of Texas’ Health and Human Service Suehs, and our Governor Perry.