Republicans in Texas slashed family planning budgets dramatically in 2011, cutting them from $1211 million to about $38 million, leading to a massive reduction in the number of Texans receiving aid from Title X funds. The legislature also passed a bill banning any assistance for clinics that perform abortions or partner with abortion providers. That’s caused dozens of women’s health clinics around the state to shut down, in part because of the absence of Title X funding, but also because of the benefits and discounts Title X brings with it.
However, the bid is not assured: They’ll also be competing with the Texas Department of Health Services, which has been receiving Title X funding since 1982. The federal government could decide to split up the grant, but the clinics are hoping to get all of it.
“If we’re not selected as the grantee, then the status quo continues,” Fran Hagerty of the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas told the Observer. “The losses have already occurred. We’re at the bottom now. Things can only change for the better.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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