AUSTIN – The Texas Senate Republican Caucus is refuting a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine that is misleading and excludes major facts about women’s health services in Texas. The study is titled, “Effect of Removal of Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Program.” The published study was funded in part by the Susan T. Buffett Foundation, a major supporter of Planned Parenthood. Also, the authors only examined data between 2011 through 2014, which does not reflect the reality that the number of Women’s health clinics in Texas has doubled since 2014, actually tripling from 2011 through 2015.
“This biased study overlooks the huge investments we have made in women’s health and discourages women from signing up for the services,” said Senate Finance Chair Nelson.
In the recent legislative session, under the leadership of Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (SD-12), Health and Human Services Committee Chair Charles Schwertner (SD-5), and their House colleagues, the overall budget for women’s health clinics in Texas was increased by $50 million to an all time high of $285 million, for which the entire Senate GOP Caucus voted in favor. For an overview, see www.HealthyTexasWomen.org.
“The people of Texas have made it perfectly clear they don’t want their tax dollars supporting abortion in any way, shape, or form,” said HHMS Chair Schwertner. “Just because Planned Parenthood disagrees with that position doesn’t change the fact that the Texas Legislature is funding women’s health services at record levels and working with a larger network of providers than ever before,” added Senator Schwertner.
In their study the authors overlook relevant data and overlook additional programs in Texas that deliver women’s health and family planning services, and instead focus solely on Planned Parenthood and their affiliates. These additional services provided in Texas include: The Department of State Health Services’ Family Planning Program (FPF), which served 55,869 women in 2014; and The Expanded Primary Health Care Program (EPHCP), which served 147,083 in 2014. This exclusion is most egregious because this is the program into which the state funneled an additional $100 million during the 2013 legislative session.
“Funding for women’s health is at an all-time high in Texas, and women should know that these services, including those cited by this study, are readily available for them,” added Senator Nelson.
In conclusion the Texas GOP Senate Caucus supports Women’s Health and all Texans deserve to know the real facts in the State budget that provides these services across our great state. The study contained obvious omissions and half-truths that we will continue to study, added Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Bettencourt.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, and Health and Human Service Chair Charles Schwertner are available for comment on this important women’s health issue.