I don’t know, I guess all women’s health news should just be reclassified through the Mo’Fuckery And Bullshit Desk. Emily Ramshaw at the Texas Tribune reports that Texas has now officially banned Planned Parenthood from receiving federal women’s health funds because they’re an “affiliate of an abortion provider,” even though, and I can’t believe I’m saying this again except I can totally believe it, Planned Parenthood’s NECESSARY and VALUABLE and TOTALLY LEGAL abortion-providing operations are wholly fiscally and operationally separate from the Planned Parenthood that provides cancer screenings, well-woman exams and contraceptive services.
The rule, signed by Commissioner Tom Suehs on Thursday, takes effect March 14.
“Under federal law, states administer Medicaid and have the right to set the criteria for providers in the program. That is what Texas is doing,” said Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the agency. “We have a state law that our Attorney General says is constitutional, and it clearly bans abortion providers from taking part in the Women’s Health Program. We can’t violate a perfectly valid state law just to appease Washington. We hope CMS will reverse its position and allow the program to continue.”
Unless some last-minute agreement is brokered, the program, which receives $9 in federal funds for every $1 in state funds, will be either phased out or cut off by the end of March. At least 130,000 poor Texas women will lose access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams and contraception.
Ramshaw adds: “The stalemate appears unbreakable — Republican lawmakers have made clear they’d rather forgo the program and the federal money than allow Planned Parenthood to participate.” To be clear, this means: Republican lawmakers have made clear they’d rather make sure poor and uninsured women will not have access to one of the largest providers of necessary women’s health care than to, uh, do that.