Patients and Advocates Close Out 1,000 Mile Planned Parenthood Road Trip to Speak Against Hostile Policies

Austin, TX – Today, Planned Parenthood patients and advocates are closing out a four day, 1,000 mile road trip across the state to bring attention to the devastating, real life impact of the continued attacks on access to reproductive health care and Planned Parenthood. This last stop of the tour is especially relevant. Yesterday, in an unprecedented maneuver, Texas politicians redrafted the approved conference committee report  specifically attacking access to care at Planned Parenthood. Patients and advocates will be at the Capitol in Austin speaking out about these attacks on access to care at Planned Parenthood.

“Texas politicians once again targeted women’s access to health care at Planned Parenthood. Texas has attacked women’s health care every way they can think of and they are not done. Women in Texas are already suffering and dying because of the state’s callous disregard for their health and well-being,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. “The people who pay the the price for these backroom deals are young women, women of color, those who live in rural areas, and women with low incomes – who already face barriers to health care. Texas lawmakers should be working to fix the damage they’ve caused and expand women’s access to quality, affordable health care and providers like Planned Parenthood.”

Over the past four days, patients and advocates have traveled to 11 cities — Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Round Rock, Waco, Dallas, Tyler, Lufkin, Houston, Sugar Land and now Austin — to deliver petitions to legislators and visit various Planned Parenthood health centers. They spoke with patients, providers and advocates and via Facebook Live captured and told their firsthand stories about why they stand with Planned Parenthood.

WHAT:
#StandWithPPTX Tour: 1,000 Miles for Women’s Health
Patient story interviews and advocates taking action against hostile health policies

WHEN:
4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 2017

WHERE:
South Gate of the Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Intersection of 11th St. & Congress Ave.)
WATCH ON FACEBOOK LIVE

Years of hostile policies have already left tens of thousands of Texas women without access to cancer screenings, birth control, HIV tests and other preventive care. After the state cut off access to Planned Parenthood health centers in 2011, the state’s own numbers show that two years later, nearly 30,000 fewer women received birth control, cancer screenings, and other care as a result. And, a recent study found that 35% fewer women obtained the most effective forms of birth control and that there was a 27% increase in births among women who had previously accessed injectible contraception.

The state is currently seeking federal approval and funding for its ill-fated family planning program, Healthy Texas Women. This is a program created specifically to block access to care at Planned Parenthood that, by every measure, has failed to fill the tremendous unmet need for healthcare. On Saturday, a 10-member legislative committee approved a version of the 2018-2019 budget that prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal or state funding from any current or future programs.

Planned Parenthood is one of Texas’ most trusted providers of reproductive health and family planning services, including breast and cervical cancer screenings. Most Planned Parenthood patients are uninsured or underinsured, live paycheck to paycheck, and pay out of pocket for their health care.

Planned Parenthood supporters are sending a message to politicians that it is past time to get serious about helping Texans access quality, affordable health care and allow Planned Parenthood health centers to fully participate in Texas’ health safety net.

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the nonpartisan policy, advocacy and political arm for the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.

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Our Story, Our Movement

After the historic events of the summer of 2013, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes was formed by the three Planned Parenthood affiliates of Texas to take advocacy and outreach for reproductive health, rights and justice to the next level. Where we come from, what we’ve done and where we’re going — its all right here.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Decries Senator Ted Cruz for Pushing Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

AUSTIN,TX- Today in the United States Senate, extremist politicians continued their attack on women’s health care by attempting to pass a short-term spending bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was one of the senators who led the effort which failed by a vote of 47-52.

 PPTVCruzQuoteWe have already seen the impact of similar irresponsible policies in Texas. In a state where one in four women is uninsured and more than half of births are paid for by Medicaid, there is nothing courageous or conservative about Ted Cruz’s efforts to defund health care for women in need,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes.

In 2011, the Republican-led Texas Legislature cut the state’s family planning budget by two-thirds and ended the joint state-federal Medicaid Women’s Health Program, costing the state a $9-to-$1 match from the federal government. These politically-motivated attacks have created a women’s health catastrophe and resulted in tens of thousands of Texans losing access to care.

“Texans know how dangerous it is to restrict women and families from accessing Planned Parenthood’s essential health services including well-woman exams, birth control, life-saving cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment. Cruz’s callous attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is part of the same political agenda that has already restricted access to preventive reproductive health care and abortion in Texas. And Texas women are paying the price,” said Gutierrez.

In Texas, Planned Parenthood health centers serve over 150,000 Texans each year. Nationally, Planned Parenthood provides 2.7 million women and men a year with critical reproductive health care — such as cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment and well-woman exams. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that without Planned Parenthood, many patients would literally have nowhere else to turn.

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