Given the ongoing battle for Planned Parenthood to continue participation in the state Medicaid program, which is vital to Black and Brown women, Texas health officials have cut off funding to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's HIV prevention program.The Department of State Health Services informed the Houston-based provider that it would not renew its contract for HIV prevention services which means the screenshot to the left was in fact a true image and not a hoax.
The funds come from a federal grant provided by the CDC and are managed by the state. The grant funding for the current year will expire on 12/31/15. In the notice from Texas DSHS it was stated that “There will be no further renewals of this contract.” This is some very sad and angering news to hear that the Texas is cutting nearly $600,000 in annual funding used for HIV testing and counseling, condom distribution and consultations.
According to the Texas Tribune, "Through the grant, which Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has received since 1988, the organization served individuals with HIV in five counties in the Houston area. Since 2014, the grant has funded more than 138,000 HIV tests and helped in identifying 1,182 people with HIV, according to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. No other Planned Parenthood affiliate is currently a recipient of the grant.
“I don’t know who else is going to fill that gap, and I don’t know if anyone can, frankly,” said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “Every time the state cuts these programs in an attempt to score political points ... the true victims here are tens of thousands of women and men who no longer have access to health care that they need.”
It’s unclear whether the state will reallocate the funds to a different provider in the area. A health department spokesman on Tuesday said the state was “working with local health departments in the area to continue to provide these services.”
The state’s move to end the HIV prevention funding is the latest in its ongoing efforts to cut off taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood."
Here are the stats from the state of Texas, note the number for women, black and Latino:
- The state Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, which provides screenings and diagnostic treatment to low-income women.
- The Texas Women’s Health Program
We cannot continue to allow the state to inflict war on women, especially women who just so happen to be Black and Latino. Regardless of how you may feel about abortion, Planned Parenthood does so much more for women living without insurance and in low income conditions. We need to take a stand and do it now!