Texas Scramble to Replace Aproximately 36 million in Funding for Womenâs Health
Perry did not specify where the funding for the Womenâs Health Program might be found. âWeâve got a multibillion-dollar budget, so weâve got the ability to be flexibility on where the money comes from,â he said after an event at Texas Republican Party headquarters.
His letter to Suehs noted officials have been discussing the possibility of making up lost federal funding in the Womenâs Health Program for weeks.
The state Legislature is out of session and does not meet again until next year, but Frazier said the governor has the authority to redistribute available funds as he sees fit â and would not need to convene a special session.
Perry said heâs anxious to save the program after the Legislature last year cut funding for 160,000 women enrolled in it. In total, lawmakers slashed $83 million in funding for womenâs health programs. It was not immediately clear what other areas would have to be scaled back to make funds available for the governor to keep his promise.
The Texas Democratic Party blasted Perry for removing funding from other parts of the state budget to save the program.
âInstead of diverting resources from already strained state services Perry should own up to his mistake,â party spokeswoman Rebecca AcuĂ±a said in a statement.
State law already forbids taxpayer money from going to organizations that provide abortions, so groups such as Planned Parenthood have established legally distinct corporations to separate family planning and womenâs health providers from clinics that perform abortions.
The law about to be enacted goes a step further to make any affiliation between a clinic and an abortion provider grounds for cutting off funding. That can mean sharing a name, employee or board member, even if the two clinics are legally and financially separate. Lawmakers last year said their goal was to cut off all state funding for Planned Parenthood, not to leave poor women without health care.
âThose people that are out there trying to say, `Oh theyâre going to kill this programâ are just dead wrong,â Perry said of the Womenâs Health Program on Thursday. He said the Obama administration is âtrying to support an organization that supports them. âŠ But Texans donât want Planned Parenthood, a known abortion provider, to be involved in this.â