When Texas Republicans cut off Planned Parenthood from the state’s Women’s Health Program — losing millions in federal funds and endangering access to health care for women in the program — Gov. Rick Perry (R) promised to keeping the program going with only state funds and without Planned Parenthood.
Now it’s clear what groups he wants to include in the program for low-income women instead: anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide the same women’s health services. In fact, the Women’s Health Program doesn’t even cover pregnant women, so there is no clear reason why crisis pregnancy centers should be included.
Perry laid out his idea earlier this week at the opening of a new crisis pregnancy center in Houston, according to RH Reality Check:
“The Source for Women clinics, in fact, will be part of Texas’s own Women’s Health Program, and Planned Parenthood will not be,” Perry told the crowd. [...]
Despite the fact that the Source currently provides only limited, pregnancy-related medical care and STI screenings, Gov. Perry is holding up the ideologically-motivated crisis pregnancy center as the future of comprehensive reproductive medical care for low-income Texas women. He even told the crowd gathered on Tuesday that Texas is excited about helping them spread their beliefs.
“The opening of this latest medical center will enable you to spread your message,” he said, “and do your vital work, on a significantly larger scale in the years to come.”
The Source’s CEO Cynthia Wenz told RH Reality Check that they will provide pap smears and some forms of contraception in order to participate in the Women’s Health Program, but no “abortifacients” will be provided. At crisis pregnancy centers, though, that term can be misconstrued to apply to almost all forms of hormonal birth control and even intrauterine devices (IUDs) — the most effective form of birth control.