While Cutting Family Planning Funds, Texas Lawmakers Divert Millions To Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Published: November 13, 2013
At the state level, six Democratic state Senators, including San Antonio’s Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, co-authored a bill this past session to ensure truthful disclosures and scientifically accurate information be delivered at CPCs. The legislation required the centers to prominently display signage indicating they are not a regulated medical facility. Delivered as an amendment to House Bill 2, it was dismissed by the GOP majority. State legislators have attempted to pass similar bills before, dating back to 2007, when state Rep. Villarreal proposed regulating CPCs. While that measure died in committee, Villarreal argues the need for transparency is even greater now, as the centers see increased funding.
“CPCs advertise themselves as health care providers, they purport to be able to help pregnant women in need of both physical and mental care—that is far from the truth. They are not health care providers in any fashion. They have an agenda,” said Villarreal. “At the least, since they are supported by public dollars, there needs to be transparency about what they do so we can make sure women aren’t being given misinformation, aren’t being misdirected or taken advantage of.”
Considered a purposefully misleading tactic by pro-choice advocates, CPCs are often found in close range to actual medical or abortion clinics. Whether deliberate or not, a CPC named A Choice for Women operates .1 mile, or a two-minute walk, away from the Planned Parenthood on Babcock Road.
‘A World Without Abortion’
With the full impact of Texas’ new anti-abortion law still materializing, as of this month an estimated 12-14 abortion clinics in the state can no longer provide services, signaling an already devastating effect to reproductive health care in the state. Health leaders say many clinics, typically equipped with small staffs and considerable overhead expenses, may end up closing as a result—several of these clinics also provide basic preventative health care. With 76 reproductive health providers financially crippled into closure by massive slashes to family planning funds as well as restrictive abortion legislation, the opportunity for CPCs to fill the void in these communities grows—perhaps, say critics, achieving the exact intention of conservative law makers.
Indeed, as Gov. Rick Perry vowed to make ‘abortion a thing of the past’ during an anti-choice rally at the Capitol earlier this year, alongside him stood a state-funded CPC clinic director, who warned against abortion and declared, “we show [our clients] the love of Jesus Christ. Our hope is to usher them into his kingdom.”
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