Flash: Texas grows enlightened on women's issues | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flash: Texas grows enlightened on women's issues

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Interesting story from Texas on the Texas legislature. Republicans, who control nearly everything in Texas, apparently suffered huge blowback from their war on women in the last legislative session that cut health care to women in the battle to destroy Planned Parenthood.

Result: A "grand bargain," engineered by a female Republican legislator from the Houston area.

No abortion bills have, so far, made it to the floor of the legislature. Plus, nobody is offering crippling amendments to the legislation to restore health services, including family planning, to women.

“A lot of people really felt they got snookered by some of the people in the pro-life movement about that family-planning issue,” said State Senator Bob Deuell, Republican of Greenville, who has been a strong advocate for restoring family-planning financing for low-income women by way of primary care.

Dr. Deuell, a primary care physician, is an ardent opponent of state money going to Planned Parenthood clinics. But he said the vitriol of some abortion opponents last session had prevented the state from pursuing good policy decisions. He recalled being compared to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, when he argued that cutting family-planning services would lead to more unwanted pregnancies, and therefore more abortions and more children living in poverty.

Texas is actually going to increase family planning spending, though no money may go to places affiliated with abortion clinics. Some direct federal grants have managed to keep some money flowing to Planned Parenthood family planning clinics.

No Arkansas Republican would believe this. Their votes were automatic on these issues, though Democratic strength in a House committee did manage to derail some of the anti-woman agenda, including a bill to stop sex education funding in Little Rock because the program was provided by Planned Parenthood.

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