Texas' request of the federal government presents a potential quandary for President Trump's administration: While he has signed legislation aimed at keeping tax dollars away from groups that perform abortions, federal law now lets patients on Medicaid - the joint federal-state program for children, the disabled and the very poor - choose between "any willing provider". While many Planned Parenthood clinics do offer abortions, their website states that abortions only make up 3% of all health services provided, and are not paid for from the federal funding Planned Parenthood receives because current USA law prohibits it. The majority of that federal funding comes from Medicaid and Title X. It would effectively block low-income patients from being treated at Planned Parenthood facilities.
Mansanares said most Wyoming patients who receive care from Planned Parenthood do so at the organization's Fort Collins location in Colorado.
A Planned Parenthood spokesperson said the agency doesn't track the numbers on other providers and wouldn't venture an opinion on Grothman's claim.
"There is a new administration, and we're looking at what funding opportunities may exist for us", she said in an email. HB 116, a law based on an anti-choice front group's discredited smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, makes it a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison to sell, transfer, or distribute cells or tissues from an aborted fetus. If Trump approves the request, other states could potentially take advantage of the precedent and ban Plan Parenthood from Medicaid programs without financial repercussion.
Legislation (HB 969) that would have guaranteed a state contract for the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, a chain of clinics that advocates against abortion and whose board includes a former House member and a one-time candidate for state representative, passed the House but stalled in the Senate. I've supported Planned Parenthood in the past, but until I worked with them closely on this, I didn't understand how many services they -and for some, they alone-provide. Out of 298,000 providers registered in the Medicaid program, only 5,000 are a part of the Healthy Texas Women program, according to state estimates. But Texas is the first state to seek a waiver with the Trump administration, and Nash said other states could follow. For the 2017 budget year, the Texas Healthy Women program has an average enrollment of 141,000 women, much less than the 207,041 who were enrolled in the family planning program in 2011, back when it was federally-funded.
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Benjamin says one of the main arguments for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited federal funding for abortions in 1977, was that forcing anti-abortion proponents to fund abortion providers was an undemocratic violation of their deeply held religious beliefs.
"This powerful and emotional film brings to light the impact that Planned Parenthood plays in the lives of patients and communities every day", Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards added in the statement.
"Ever since the election and Women's Marches in January, Planned Parenthood has seen huge spikes on our volunteers and supporters", she said.
"The harm's been done in Texas".
But the program has seen stumbles. The waiver won't change that.