Although Planned Parenthood has suffered setbacks by the Trump administration, they received a windfall donation of $9 million from an anonymous donor who is a “longtime supporter” to build two new facilities in West Texas. The massive donation will help repair some of the damage imposed by Republicans in the state, who have blown the subject of abortion in the health clinics completely out of proportion for political gain.
Ken Lambrecht, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, announced the big donation at a luncheon in Dallas, where Cynthia Nixon, the Sex and the City star turned gubernatorial candidate of New York was the keynote speaker.
Texas should be a wake up call to the rest of the country when it comes to the consequences of attacks on reproductive rights – and it should inspire us to fight even harder to protect every woman's right to make her own health decisions. @ppgreatertx #StandWithPP
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) March 23, 2018
“Abortion, like parenthood, is a deeply personal and sometimes complex decision for a woman, and no one can make that decision for her.”
The Dallas News reported that the event raised $1.15 million to benefit the Dallas chapter of Planned Parenthood. In addition, another donor will donate $800,00 for the new facilities, and the organization is planning a new campaign to raise funds for more new facilities and to maintain current ones.
The Republican Governor at the time, Rick Perry, tried to make all abortions “a thing of the past” in 2013, signing a bill to place restrictions on groups that provide abortions.
Democrats and activists said the bill would lead to the closing of abortion clinics, which it did. Several years later, the law was struck down by the Supreme Court, in a ruling that said women shouldn’t face an “undue burden” to obtain an abortion. However, many clinics that had already closed didn’t reopen.
President Trump signed a bill in April 2017 to allow states to withdraw federal money from abortion service providers. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, nixing the Obama-era rule that prevented states from defunding health care for political reasons.
Although the SCOTUS ruling was a win for women’s right to choose in Texas, there are still many obstacles for women, forcing many to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.
- Half of the abortion providers closed after the 2013 law was passed. This forces roughly half of patients to travel more than 50 miles.
- Women under 18 have to be approved by their guardian, or else get permission from a judge.
- Coming up with funds can be difficult since Medicaid won’t cover it, and insurance companies were banned from offering coverage for abortions “unless you pay extra.”
- The state requires patients receive a transvaginal ultrasound, and the same doctor must perform the abortion. Patients must also endure “abortion counseling” from doctors who read from a script.
- Patients have to wait 24 hours after the ultrasound before they may have the abortion.
While Roe v. Wade gave us the right to abortion in name, it doesn't always translate to access. Texas has set up an obstacle course of barriers to force women to carry their pregnancies to term. #Roe45 #FightBackTX pic.twitter.com/lbwleriRpF
— Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (@PPTXVotes) January 22, 2018
Only six of the Planned Parenthood centers in Texas offer abortions, and those are in large cities like Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. It isn’t clear if the new facilities will provide abortion services, but will cover preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other important women’s health services.
None of the federal funding Planned Parenthood receives can legally be spent on abortion services.
Abortions are a very small percentage of the services they provide to women – as little as 3 percent, in fact.
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Featured image by scATX Via Flickr/ CC BY-ND 2.0.