Posts Tagged ‘family planning’

Fla. budget would cut family planning, keep anti-abortion funding intact

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by The American Independent 4 Comments

Photo: Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Florida’s $70 billion budget will strip about $4.4 million in family planning dollars from the state’s Medicaid budget. The state’s funding for controversial crisis pregnancy centers, however, remains intact. (more…)

Florida Legislature kills amendment to end state funding for anti-abortion pregnancy centers

Posted on: February 9th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

During debate before the Florida House’s final approval of the appropriations bill, state Rep. Chuck Chestnut, D-Gainesville, introduced an amendment that would remove the $2 million crisis pregnancy centers are slated to receive. (more…)

Abortion-rights group predicts more anti-abortion legislation in 2012 than 2011

Posted on: January 19th, 2012 by Sofia Resnick 1 Comment

Twice as many anti-abortion-rights state laws were passed in 2011 than in 2010, according to a new report by NARAL Pro-Choice America, the nation’s largest abortion-rights policy group. Even more legislation is expected in 2012, NARAL policy experts said during a Thursday press briefing on the 21st edition of “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States.”  (more…)

Women’s health advocates blast proposed GOP spending bill that would kill family-planning funding

Posted on: September 30th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick 3 Comments

The same week that anti-abortion-rights advocates and Catholic colleges pushed the Obama administration to repeal a recent decision to include contraception in a list of fully-covered preventive health-care services, House Republicans unveiled a proposed spending plan for 2012 that could leave many women without access to reproductive-health services, reproductive-rights advocates say. (more…)

While Texas CPCs get more money, welfare programs they refer to are cut

Posted on: September 21st, 2011 by Sofia Resnick 1 Comment

As The American Independent has reported, Texas’ six-year-old Alternatives to Abortion program has consistently received increases in state funding, while organizations that provide reproductive-health and family-planning services for the uninsured has steadily decreased. This year, the state Legislature did more than cut family-planning funding, however. It also cut billions of dollars from social-service programs that crisis pregnancy centers and maternity houses refer to under the directive of Alternatives to Abortion.

The services — nutritional supplements through the Women, Infants, Children program (WIC); free medical care through Medicaid; children’s health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program – benefit Texans in need. In Alternatives to Abortion evaluation reports produced for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), one of the main services highlighted for each entity that receives state money for this program is referrals for state social-service programs.

For Texas’ 2012-2013 biennium budget, the state Legislature:

  • cut family planning funding, from approximately $111.5 million to $37.9 million,
  • raised Alternative to Abortion funding, from $8 million to $8.3 million,
  • left the state’s Medicaid funding about $4.8 billion short of full funding (though, as The Washington Post recently reported, a lot of this money will likely have to come out of the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.”).

After the Alternatives to Abortion program was created, HHSC commissioned site-evaluation reports from the Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TPCN), the nonprofit contracted by the state to manage and disperse funding to currently 33 CPC and maternity agencies (about 44 individual sites total).

In a collection of site reports from June 2005 to October 2010 – previously obtained by The Texas Independent — the most common services, as documented by TPCN, included “counseling and mentoring”; education classes on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and adoption; assistance with food, shelter, clothing and medical care; and referrals to other community resources.

A frequent phrase found in the reports: “The Center receives client referrals from local churches and schools, and makes referrals to local adoption agencies and community services like WIC Program” (San Martin de Porres House of Hope in El Paso), or “The Center makes referrals to State services like Food Stamps, WIC Program, Community Health Clinics, Attorney General’s Office Child Support Enforcement, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (Gabriel Project Life Center in Austin and Bryan).

On subsidized centers’ individual websites — such as those of Gabriel Project Life Center, A Woman’s Haven in San Antonio and Austin LifeCare in Austin – under “Services,” they commonly list referrals to state health and social-service programs.

Last month, state Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) wrote an editorial in the Houston Chronicle, criticizing the GOP-dominated Legislature’s final budgetary decisions, claiming the family-planning cuts “could also mean more than 20,000 additional unplanned pregnancies – which means more emergency Medicaid births, more parents dependent on CHIP, WIC and Medicaid, and an increase in abortions in Texas.”

While these programs to which Alternatives to Abortion frequently refers women have faced deep budget cuts, the Alternatives to Abortion program, particularly its staff, has been relatively insulated from the same treatment. As The Texas Independent has previously reported, TPCN’s reimbursement rate is higher than what the state pays, under Medicaid, for nurses to provide family-planning services. The rate is also higher than the Medicaid rate for therapy sessions with master’s-level social workers.

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities (PDF), Texas Medicaid funding, as it currently stands, provides “basic health care and life-saving supports” for:

  • Nearly all Texans with intellectual disabilities and other serious lifelong or childhood-acquired disabilities
  • 55 percent of Texas babies who receive prenatal care and delivery from Medicaid and CHIP
  • 2.5 million kids (3 million with CHIP)
  • Hundreds of thousands of seniors and Texans with disabilities who avoid institutional care through Medicaid community supports
  • More than 1,600 women every month who are undergoing treatment for breast or cervical cancer

As Texas cuts family-planning funding, more goes to crisis-pregnancy services

Posted on: September 20th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick 3 Comments

Image by Matt MahurinWith presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s blessing, as of this month, Texas women’s health clinics and hospitals that provide medical and reproductive health services to low-income, uninsured women across the state have collectively lost approximately $74 million in state funding. Meanwhile, a state network of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) (more…)

Perry criticized by family-planning friends and foes on Texas funding, HPV policy

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), has launched a campaign targeting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been pegged by many media outlets as the current leader in the race for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. (more…)

HHS disapproves of Indiana’s plan to block Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood

Posted on: June 1st, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has rejected a law signed by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) that prohibits Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding in the state.

AP:

The Health and Human Services Department is telling the state of Indiana that its Medicaid plan, which bans funding to Planned Parenthood, is illegal and must be changed.

In a letter sent to Indiana’s Medicaid director, and obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick says Indiana’s plan will improperly bar Medicaid beneficiaries from receiving services. Berwick writes that federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any provider qualified to provide services.

The notification comes after Indiana passed a law banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and as other states consider similar bans. Indiana can change its plan to conform with federal law, or the state could face penalties.

The American Independent has followed the legislation closely, including the general confusion in the state among legislators, government analysts and the governor’s office itself regarding the implications of such a law and dubious claims made by politicians regarding available family planning services that could replace Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

H/t: ThinkProgress