What a Surprise! NOT.

In response to the most recent attack of the culture warriors, Texas (of course it would be Texas!) defunded Planned Parenthood. So how is that working out?

According to a recent report in the Guardian, not well.

Texas’s aggressive campaign to defund Planned Parenthood has led to a steep drop-off in access to popular forms of contraceptions for poor women, and, for some women, a 27% increase in births, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found.

In the wake of the doctored videos fiasco, anti-choice activists have renewed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. In response to concerns about healthcare for low-income women (by far the most significant part of Planned Parenthood’s activities), they have insisted that there are other publicly funded providers who could absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.

This study suggests those claims are bogus.

In order to justify defunding Planned Parenthood, Texas officials in 2013 drew up a list of alternative providers. But women’s health advocates found that the list included radiologists and anesthesiologists – not providers who routinely prescribe contraceptives. Likewise, officials in Louisiana and abortion opponents in Ohio have suggested food banks and dentist offices as alternatives to Planned Parenthood.

Texas’ experience demonstrates once again that fanaticism is expensive. The spike in births to Medicaid-eligible women was costly, and in order to exclude Planned Parenthood from the state-funded women’s health program, the state had to completely forfeit the $9-to-$1 match in federal Medicaid dollars for women’s health.

Planned Parenthood had been providing 40% of state-funded family planning services.

The new women’s health program enrolled about 20,000 fewer women after it excluded Planned Parenthood, according to an April 2015 report by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The study I would be interested in seeing would compare abortion rates before and after Planned Parenthood was defunded. How many women who lost access to reliable contraception and found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy decided to terminate those pregnancies?

The only way to reduce the incidence of abortion is to make reliable birth control easily available, but anti-choice activists are increasingly trying to restrict access to contraception.

It’s hard to escape the conviction that what anti-Planned Parenthood zealots really want is a return to the days when women had no control over their own reproduction—when we were “barefoot and pregnant”— and properly submissive.


  1. Prof K Says:
    ” zealots really want is a return to the days when women had no control over their own reproduction—when we were “barefoot and pregnant”— and properly submissive.”
    Yes Yes Yes.
    These are not well meaning or well informed people. Now they want a Constitutional convention where they can impose more of this nonsense on all of us.
    Their work to damage Planned Parenthood will absolutely result in more unwanted children AND more abortions.
    And they dominate one of our national political parties
    YIKES again

  2. People are being damaged.
    Let’s go with the lawsuits. name the plaintiffs and defendants.
    Name the churches and evangelists among them.
    This will get the hypocrites where it hurts, in their pocketbooks.

  3. The Republicans approach to defunding Planned Parenthood is the same approach they use to argue against the ACA. They claim that other providers can take care of the medical needs of those that use Planned Parenthood and they claim they want to defund/destroy the ACA and replace it.

    They never offer concrete examples of what they will replace either program with because they have no examples. Their entire premise is just to eliminate these programs and let the people using them just go without care.

    What really disgusts me the most about the people who are so against providing medical care for the monetarily less fortunate is that they claim to be Christians. They are behaving in the most un-Christian way possible.

  4. I have mentioned this situation before but…at age 32 with five children and “female problems” I had to have my husband’s signature on a legal medical document to have a tubal ligation. This was major surgery in 1970. Scheduled an appointment with Dr. H.C. Moss who was battling a law suit at the time for performing a tubal ligation on a retarded young woman at the request of her parents. He tried to disuade me using the ploy, “What if one of your children died?” As if our children are interchangeable or replaceable. After the surgery, he gave me my membership card in the Indiana Voluntary Sterilization Association

    We are being pushed backwards; too close to those days of no control over our bodies or our medical decisions; especially regarding anything involving our genitals or breasts. But health care provides prescribed Viagra and erectile dysfunction supplies in their many forms to men of all ages…including Medicare for old men. Is this service also provided by Planned Parenthood in their coverage for low income men? Birth control pills are prescribed for a number of health conditions in addition to birth control; Viagra and erectile dysfunction supplies have only one f*#ktion – oops, function. All under the control of our primarily male dominated elected officials.

  5. There is no question that the anti-choice movement is really about controlling women. If they wanted merely to end abortion, their members would be promoting contraception and supporting childcare benefits for poor women. They aren’t. Their movement is being driven by the view of women as chattel presented by a couple of backward religious sects.

  6. Well, it might be interesting to see a comparison of abortion rates before and after, but it would not tell the whole story. Official abortion rates count only those abortions performed and reported by licensed clinics. The part that is unknowable is the number of women who have resorted to using medications obtained through questionable sources, or worse. What we can be relatively certain about is the fact that any abortion rates derived from official sources, especially in border states like Texas, are definitely an undercount.

  7. This nonsense went on in Indiana during Mitch Daniel’s time as governor. One of the replacement clinics for women suggested by his office was the Women’s Prison.

  8. Thank you for noting the intellectual dishonesty of the anti-Planned Parenthood folks. While they are very vocal against abortion, they seldom come out of hiding on their anti-contraception views. As you noted, these positions are in conflict and likely to cause MORE abortions. If abortion trumps their other positions, I would expect them to abandon their anti-contraception agenda, but either these folks are not logical OR – as you suggested – they just want to control OTHER women’s bodies. I can’t imagine what possible pleasure they derive from controlling the reproduction of women they don’t know and won’t ever meet.

  9. What few people seem to know or remember is that there were always abortions happening. Many of them ended up killing the woman as well as the fetus. After Roe v. Wade women were able to get safe abortions. Those who would eliminate choice would re-open the back alley clinics, bring back the coat hangar procedure, and encourgae women to fall down the stairs. I’m old enough now that I wouldn’t have to take any of my friends to the emergency room. I just hope that none of the kids I see at the pro-life rallys ever has to do that.

  10. Medicare for all would solve part of this issue concerning affordable access to Doctors and Birth Control Medications. The Republicons of course do not want Medicare for all. The Republicon Candidates are in lock step to over turn ACA. If you can afford Medical Care you are OK, other wise too bad, so sad.
    Bottom line the Republicons could care less if women can receive proper medical care. They could care less about family planning.
    The goal is to deny woman a choice. The approach by the Repubilcons is to carpet bomb woman’s choice in all it’s forms, and if there are casualties , these casualties are viewed with profound indifference.

  11. I know that I sound like a broken record about oligarchy and brain washing, brand marketing, but one of the observations that moves that from conspiracy theory to conspiracy fact is that conservatism almost never works in practice for anyone but oligarchs. The damages caused by it here in America alone are legion. In the absence of conspiracy conservatism would have died long ago of common sense.

    Yet we have a clown car of the preachers of it littering the airways with nonsensical pie in the sky pretend solutions to pretend problems running for President.

    Carpet bomb Muslims but save fetuses for a lottery ticket for eternal heavenly life.

    I refuse to believe that we are collectively that stupid but it’s undeniable that we are collectively easily led. In fact we seem truly desperate for people to tell us how to live.

    It’s no longer “Give me liberty or give me death” but free me from elected government and give me that old time religion with no choice.

  12. The GOP exists to lower the costs of production. Period.

    More babies = more desperation = lower wages. Simple as that.

  13. And by the way, we usually over analyze their intentions because we who are progressive are by nature analytical. All the religion and other arguments are for their stupid base and are emotionally effective but otherwise meaningless. Lower costs of production. The oligarchs get it.

  14. Pete…I have said for years that people are sheep. Not sure if our lives are so busy that ‘thinking’ is just too much are the fact in the Bible God was right…we are a flock of sheep. The thing I ask people is do you want to be the shepherd and think and define your own life or are you going to be the sheep. Too many are the sheep and I absolutely believe the majority wants to be told what to think.

  15. One strategy used by the oligarchs is described in “Dark Money,” in which folks (amongst them the Koch brothers) create research foundations and issue studies with little or no merit. (One example: air pollution is good because it blocks the rays of the sun therefore resulting in less melanoma, although that example is a bit extreme). People spend time digging up facts to check out the truth of the claims. The claims are refuted. The followers of the oligarchs still will believe the studies, even when refuted. The oligarchs will realize tax benefits from investment in the think tanks.

  16. AgingLGrl, your comment: “Love the fetus, hate the child. That’s the GOP’s motto.”

    Absolutely True!

  17. You can’t reason with people who lack the capacity for reason. Some of these people have been traumatized in one way or another to the point that their frontal lobes are essentially blocked and they respond first to emotion, primarily fear. Years ago that was I, a supposedly smart republican, but in reality scared to death of things I could not control. That fear led to instinctive voting. Deep down I knew that the democrat was a smarter choice, but when I arrived at the voting booth the emotional brain pulled the lever. How can you send your wife shopping in a world full of Willie Hortons? Through learning and self-actualization one can recover from that.

    Of course the vast majority are just dumb – not genetically gifted, or poorly educated, or twisted by a lifetime of religious brainwashing.

  18. Fear of the unknown and loathing of anyone different are the primary strong negative human emotions that can be effectively used for brand marketing. They are the puppet strings just like sex and status are for primary strong positive human emotions.

    Rubio demonstrated during the last debate how formulaic brand marketing is. When he had to get creative nobody was home so he merely repeated the script.

  19. Aging girl, Your comment is the best. Not that the others are not , it is just that you have said it all in just six words.

  20. I don’t think belief has much to do with it. I mean, “Thou shalt not kill” is pretty unambiguous, right? But they are for guns, war, the death penalty, etc. It is about fear. Primitive fear that we evolved to feel because it gave us a better chance of survival. Tribalism and the fear of the other is not part of our software, it is part of the hardware. The oligarchs achieve their goals through the GOP by manipulating this fear. They see themselves as monkey trainers.

  21. The real tragedy lies in the fact that women could end the madness in six years! They have the vote!

  22. And by the way, why is Trump unstoppable? Because he is a more shameless monkey trainer. The “establishment” GOP will have to either outdo him in their shamelessness or take him out. Regardless, expect the future GOP to be worse, not better.

  23. Back in 1973 a colleague wrote in her Master’s thesis “Nursing research has shown that the unwanted child is a child at risk for neglect and abuse.” Having spent 46 years as a working RN, most of them in Pediatrics, I have seen the neglected and abused children. Why are the Pro-life folks not at all disturbed about the neglected kids, the abused kids, the hungry kids, the ill-clad kids, the homeless kids, the badly educated kids, the kids without access to health care, or the kids with parents who haven’t the slightest clue how to raise them??? If they REALLY were all that “Pro Life,” they’d notice the problems children have in this country and start to work on solving them. They are ONLY “Pro” full-term pregnancy, and don’t give a flying fig about the resulting child.

  24. The Diane Rehm Show on NPR this morning had a very interesting hour-long discussion of the Zika virus and what its impacts are/will be, especially on women of child-bearing age.
    There were several interesting and alarming responses from the medical experts.
    Zika virus is not the same virus that had originally appeared in Africa several centuries ago. It has mutated.
    The current virus was NOT produced in lab and released purposely or accidentally.

    The virus impacts the poor populations of countries disproportionately. The rich live in building with air conditioning and window screens, in cleaner, less densely populated communities.

    Plastics and rubber products in our waste have significant impacts on the mosquito population that carries the virus. There may be a sexual transmission possibility, but the virus is dependent primarily on the mosquito to thrive. Not ALL mosquitoes are carriers.

    And, more germane to the discussion here, women of child-bearing age in many of these poor communities/countries are being advised to avoid pregnancy at least until 2017. The point made was that many of these countries have religious beliefs that forbid contraception or any kind, including using condoms. Women in those places often are very young and very poor when they become pregnant and have few, if any options to manage their own bodies.

    The point was also made that the climate of most places currently affected is subtropical or tropical. While those in more temperate climates may have time to consider environmental impacts and plan accordingly. Those immediately experiencing the very real and deadly consequences of the virus must act quickly.

    The scariest part is that there are several deadly viruses (e-bola is not the only one) that will be more likely to strike in warming climates and are not limited to the Americas.

    It was a very interesting and enlightening program. Unfortunately, the conspiracy theorists and the climate deniers are already decrying “media exaggeration” and scientists who have their own agenda.
    If anyone has the time and inclination, the program was worth a listen.

  25. “If they REALLY were all that “Pro Life,” they’d notice the problems children have in this country and start to work on solving them. They are ONLY “Pro” full-term pregnancy, and don’t give a flying fig about the resulting child.”

    Retired RN should, in her spare time (yuk, yuk!!!), have become a major league baseball player since she clearly knows how to hit one far, far out of the park.

    Where are all those “Pro Life” people right now in regard to what’s happened to at least 8,000 children in Flint, Michigan as a result of mindboggling governmental malfeasance? They are all no where to be found at all. Not a word from any of them. They are absent without official leave.

  26. If the Republicans want to control women’s access to contraception and abortion, they could do us all a favor and keep their pants zipped up.

  27. JD, when I first heard about this virus and the danger to the unborn child, I thought of all of those catholic countries and what exactly they would do if a young woman contracted it right before she found out she was pregnant? Would they allow her an abortion? Of course not (is my reply). But I saw what did happen to my neighbor when her second child was diagnosed with this condition in Indiana. She was given the choice to abort (but she was past 20 weeks and was unsure what to do). She carried the baby to term (labor was about 3 weeks early) and the baby died within an hour. My point is, she was given the choice and she being a good christian that wanted this child and was heartbroken that it wouldn’t survive, carried the baby to nearly term. Removing that choice is the problem for this countries that are ruled by the religious.
    (She had another daughter about 18 months later but they still have an anniversary vigil for the lost child every year).

  28. As a simple matter of demographics, Texas Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot. Most of these new births will vote Democrat 20 years from now. By which time these politicians will be happily esconced (sp?) in Scottsdale.

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