Gov. Abbott: Texas to end Planned Parenthood funding

Gov. Abbott: Texas to end Planned Parenthood funding

Gov. Abbott: Texas to end Planned Parenthood funding
October 19
18:48 2015

Rhiannon Saegert | Senior Staff Writer

@Missmusetta

Texas wants to end tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood, Gov. Greg Abbott announced today, citing concerns with the fetal tissue donations.

While the issue of abortion rights is nothing new to the United States, recent controversy has thrust Planned Parenthood into the political spotlight once again.

The current debate over Planned Parenthood’s funding at the state and national levels began after an antiabortion group called The Center for Medical Progress recorded, edited and released four videos of Planned Parenthood employees having graphic discussions about fetal tissue from abortion procedures being used for research purposes, and the associated costs.

The group stated that the videos proved Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal organs. Republicans at the state and national level argued that the organization should be investigated, and defunded on moral grounds.

“More than ever, it is clear that efforts to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid are politically motivated.  They clearly have nothing to do with the well-being of the Texas citizens,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement released today.

The Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress in 1976, states Medicaid can’t legally be used to provide abortions in cases other than rape, incest or in cases that threaten a pregnant woman’s life.

States can determine how to fund abortions at the state level on an individual basis, and federal laws dictate federal funding can’t be used to provide abortions.

In its 2013-14 annual report Planned Parenthood reported receiving $528.4 million in funding from Medicaid last year.

Efforts by Republican Senators and House Representatives to defund the Planned Parenthood Federation of America at the national level stalled earlier this month when the House passed a measure that would have defunded the organization, but it didn’t make it through the Senate.

Business sophomore Brady Watson said he would want to see the organization defunded because they provide abortions, but not for any other reason.

“I feel like anything stopping abortion clinics is a good thing,” Watson said. “As far as sex education and teaching people about precautions, that’s a good thing. If they only did that, I would have no problem with that.”

Planned Parenthood provids pap smears, neo-natal care, cancer screenings, STI testing, sex education, men’s health care, emergency contraception and other services, often to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them.

About 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are abortions, according to its website. The majority of procedures performed were STI and STD testing and treatments, which totaled about 42 percent.

“I think it’s ridiculous that they’re trying to disband a resource that does so much more than abortion,” drawing and painting freshman Francesca Bartos said. “Just because it disagrees with specific people’s religious beliefs doesn’t mean it should be defunded. They do so much to help babies who are being born.”

The organization received 41 percent of its funding from government health service grants and reimbursements in 2014. 30 percent came from private contributions, 23 percent came from non-government revenue and 6 percent came from other sources.

Computer science sophomore John Self said he has a personal stance against abortion, but holds a neutral political stance.

“At the end of the day, it’s not my choice. I’m not the one going into that clinic,” Self said. “I believe it should be there, from a completely objective standpoint, but from a moral standpoint I have to be against the abortion part of it.”

Featured Image: Courtesy | Wikimedia Commons

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