STATEMENT: TX House Approves an Additional $20 Million to Anti-Abortion CPCs

Texas House Approves an Additional $20 Million to Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers

For Release: 4-6-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX — During debate on the 2018-19 state budget, the Texas House approved an additional $20 million per two-year budget cycle for the Alternatives to Abortion program. This program funnels millions of tax dollars to manipulative, deceptive crisis pregnancy centers that intentionally lie to and coerce pregnant Texans.

Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement on the funding increase for crisis pregnancy centers—

“It is shameful that the state continues to give millions of health care dollars to non-medical entities that lie to, shame and manipulate Texans considering an abortion, especially at a time when vulnerable children are dying in foster care, public education remains chronically underfunded and cuts to Medicaid for disabled kids remain in place.

Crisis pregnancy centers are not comprehensive health centers and do not provide Texans with the full range of available options. CPCs exist to prevent people facing unintended pregnancies from accessing abortion care and delay their care to the point where they’re not able to access abortion. These centers use scare tactics and provide scientifically inaccurate information to their patients and are ultimately dangerous to the health and safety of pregnant Texans.

It is unconscionable that lawmakers voted against a budget amendment to move this money to the family planning program and instead increased funding by $20 million for ideologically motivated CPCs and refused to fund legitimate health care providers.”

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Statement: More than 5,400 Texans Demand the State Remove Anti-Abortion Activists from the Women’s Health Program

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services met September 13 to discuss the new Healthy Texas Women program, the third iteration of a state women’s health program that has been drastically underperforming since 2013.

The state gave The Heidi Group $1.6 million to participate in Healthy Texas Women. The Heidi Group is an anti-abortion nonprofit led by an activist who is dangerously misinformed about basic public health. The group received the second largest contract in the program, despite not currently providing medical services.

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas testified against the contract Tuesday and delivered a petition signed by 5,455  Texans demanding the state defund the Heidi Group. Blake Rocap, legislative counsel at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, made the following statement in response to the hearing:

“It is outrageous that the state’s family planning dollars are going to fund anti-abortion organizations while Texans continue to face barriers accessing contraception and medical care, and more women are dying after childbirth. The Heidi Group is not a health care provider and its list of subcontractors includes a clinic that has closed and crisis pregnancy centers that provide biased and misleading information and shame women for having abortions.

Texas does not allow qualified providers such as Planned Parenthood and independent reproductive health clinics that offer or refer patients to full-spectrum care, including abortion, to participate in any state reproductive health program. By excluding these providers, Texas is continuing to play politics with reproductive health care. People deserve to feel respected and valued in their healthcare decisions and have the right to access safe, competent care at their chosen provider.

As long as lawmakers continue to place political restrictions on access to health care, no amount of money, program redesign or handwringing by the very legislators responsible for destroying the health care safety net will meet the needs of Texans.”

Read more about the implications of the state funding anti-abortion organizations and playing politics with Texans’ health in NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ op-ed published today.