by Timothy Kelly (Feb. 4, 2016) – Have I got your attention? Great, now onto the real science.
No, the GOP is not using Texas as a giant brothel and its poor women as a repository for their sperm. But if you listen to the results of a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, that could be a logical conclusion.
Let’s get some background first. The Susan T. Buffet Foundation funded the study which intended to show the adverse effects of defunding Planned Parenthood in Texas. The Susan T. Buffet Foundation is the ultra-liberal group (and outspoken supporter of abortion rights) funded by Warren Buffet. Against that background the New England Journal of Medicine published an article today entitled, Effect of Removal of Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Program. Here is a synopsis of the findings:
“Texas saw an increase in the number of Medicaid births and a decrease in the use of the most effective forms of contraception after its decision to defund Planned Parenthood, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. The team of researchers saw a nearly one third drop in the use of long-acting contraception, an area that another study has indicated suffers from substantial unmet demand.”
The article states:
Beginning in 2007, Texas operated a Medicaid waiver program, the Women’s Health Program, with 90% of funding from the federal government.2 In 2011, the Texas legislature directed the program to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed Texas that because the exclusion of medically qualified providers violated federal law, it would not renew the waiver but would continue transition funding through the end of 2012. Litigation kept Planned Parenthood affiliates functioning in the program until the transition funding ended. Texas then replaced the federally funded program with a nearly identical 100% state-funded program (the Texas Women’s Health Program) that excluded clinics affiliated with an abortion provider, effective January 1, 2013.
This is completely accurate and is a fair depiction of the events leading to the defunding of abortion-related clinics. If a clinic is not affiliated with an abortion provider, contraception would still be provided, as it was prior…NO CHANGE.
The NEJM article states:
“Our data are observational and cannot prove causality. However, our analyses suggest that the exclusion of Planned Parenthood affiliates from the Texas Women’s Health Program had an adverse effect on low-income women in Texas by reducing the provision of highly effective methods of contraception, interrupting contraceptive continuation, and increasing the rate of childbirth covered by Medicaid.”
The NEJM commented that the study does not define whether the births were intended or not, but assumes the majority were unintended.
“Although data are lacking on intendedness of pregnancy, it is likely that many of these pregnancies were unintended, since the rates of childbirth among these women increased in the counties that were affected by the exclusion and decreased in the rest of the state.”
OK, now in layman’s terms. Women in Texas who were getting free contraception before defunding from Planned Parenthood, and can now get it from another clinic, refuse to go elsewhere and are now simply ignoring the reality of having unprotected sex. Considering that these women were formerly recipients of contraception, we can safely assume that they were given some level of education about where babies come from, right?
We are being told that these women, who know were babies come from, decided to just have unprotected sex, instead of simply finding a qualifying clinic? Then, when they magically got pregnant, they used medicaid to cover the cost of the births. We are asked to believe that this situation was caused by Texas law and not the person irresponsibility of the woman themselves. The study does not address the availability of alternative sources of the exact same contraceptive resources but instead concludes:
“In conclusion, the implementation of the 2013 exclusion of Planned Parenthood affiliates from a Medicaid waiver program in Texas was associated with adverse changes in the rates of provision and continuation of contraception and with increases in the rate of childbirth covered by Medicaid. These findings have implications regarding the likely consequences of proposals to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates from public funding in other states or at the national level.”
It is plausible that some women likely would have needed to travel to an adjoining county to get free contraception, in some cases ride a bus 30 minutes each way once every 3 months to obtain it. Any sensible adult would conclude that this study is a Texas-sized load of cow pie.