Apparently, the Lufkin Planned Parenthood was turning women away without telling these women that other clinics/doctors in the area participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP). The TWHP provides family planning services and annual exams at no cost to eligible low-income Texas women. The state essentially reimburses the clinics/physicians for such visits. One of the highlights of the 82nd Legislative Session (2011) was when lawmakers, pro-life lobbyists, General Abbott, and Governor Perry successfully crafted the Texas version of the Women’s Health Program, eliminating abortion providers from participating. The federal Women’s Health Program refused to let Texas prohibit tax dollars from subsidizing the work of such abortion clinics, so Texas did what Texas always does – we decided we could do it ourselves.
As many of you know, Planned Parenthood recently announced the closing of their Lufkin, Bryan, and Huntsville locations. Planned Parenthood’s press releases cited the elimination of their participation in the TWHP and cuts to their state funding from 2011 as reasons for the shutdown of the Lufkin and Bryan clinics. Soon after the announcements, I was on the phone with pro-life activists from the Lufkin/Nacogdoches areas. An employee of one of the local pregnancy resource centers proceeded to tell me the story of a particular client that recently called their center.
The young woman, a TWHP participant, went into the Lufkin Planned Parenthood for her birth control pills (a service covered under the TWHP). The “clinic” informed this young woman that they no longer accepted TWHP (which is accurate) and the pills would cost her $200. Not being able to afford the $200, Planned Parenthood simply dismissed this woman. Planned Parenthood did not even tell her what other doctors/clinics in the area DO take TWHP patients. To find out what her options are under the new TWHP rules, the young woman calls the pregnancy resource center. The center’s staff provided the young woman with a list of area doctors who do participate in TWHP and who are accepting new patients. So Jessica Farrar, who was there to give accurate information to this young woman? Not your beloved Planned Parenthood, but one of those sweet ladies running pregnancy resource centers whom you love to loathe at every abortion hearing.