Family Planning Budget Cuts in Texas Lead to Increase in Poor Women having Babies

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A funding decision designed to hurt abortion providers in Texas could wind up costing the state, both in terms of dollars and more babies born to poor women.

 

During the 2011 legislature session, Republican lawmakers shifted $73 million from family planning services to other programs so that Planned Parenthood clinics, which offer abortions, had less money to work with.

 

But the move could result in nearly 24,000 more babies being born to low-income women during 2014-2015 due to reduced access to state-subsidized birth control, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In FY2011, the state family planning services helped 202,968 people. In FY2012 that figure dropped to 75,160.

 

The increase in births is projected to cost taxpayers as much as $273 million, much of which would come from medical services provided through Medicaid.

 

Having received this grim news, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers is working on a way to restore some of the money that was taken from family planning operations.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Lawmakers Could Restore Family Planning Funds (by Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune)

Texas Now Serves Fewer Family Planning Patients and Spends More Money To Do It (by Anna Merlan, Dallas Observer)

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