Talk about the pot calling the kettle black: after years of gutting women’s health services in his state, GOP contender Gov. Rick Perry (TX) is attacking the Obama administration for “sacrificing the health of millions of Texas women in the name of their pro-abortion agenda.”
The administration’s crime? Refusing to let Texas violate federal law by restricting family planning providers in the Medicaid Women’s Health Program:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has turned down Texas’ request to run a family planning program that excludes certain providers — namely Planned Parenthood — saying it’s a violation of the federal Social Security Act. [...]
Gov. Rick Perry called the decisions out of Washington “one step forward” and “two steps back.”
“I am concerned the Obama Administration is playing politics by holding women’s health care hostage because of Texas’ pro-life policies,” he said in a statement, “sacrificing the health of millions of Texas women in the name of their pro-abortion agenda.”
According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Medicaid-funded Women’s Health Program saves Texas at least $20 million a year and prevented over 6,700 unplanned pregnancies in 2009. But this year Perry and the GOP legislature defunded Planned Parenthood and cut family planning services by a staggering $74 million in an attempt to reduce the number of abortions. Yet the Women’s Health Program does not provide abortions — it does, however, give low-income women access to breast cancer screenings and birth control.
The state budget Perry signed slashed funding for women’s preventative health care, leaving up to 300,000 women without access to basic health services.