GOOD

Texas’ 2013 Decision to Ban Planned Parenthood Proves to Be as Foolish as Anticipated

Thousands of low income, uninsured women must fend for themselves for cancer screenings, birth control and more in Texas.

When Texas chose to shun millions of dollars in federal funding for women’s health so that it could create the Texas Women's Health Program—decidedly shutting Planned Parenthood out of the equation—the future of women’s health in Texas seemed pretty dire. Now, the Lone Star State’s Health and Human Services Commission has published a new report on the program, confirming that the long-term consequences of banning Planned Parenthood are very real and very negative.

Image by badlyricspolice via Creative Commons


As a result of the changes, Planned Parenthood, which used to provide family planning services to about 40 percent of the previous incarnation of the Women’s Health Program was completely ousted, leaving thousands of low income, uninsured women to fend for themselves for cancer screenings, birth control and more, with little to no safety net provided by the state.

The Houston Press sums it up:

Well, the new HHSC report shows that women enrolled in the program dropped from 207,000 to about 188,000, a 9 percent decline in enrollment. Unsurprisingly, the impact was much more pronounced across the state's rural areas. In West Texas and in the Panhandle, enrollment dropped about 40 percent, while enrollment in the Rio Grande Valley dropped about 20 percent. Clients served (the number of women who actually filed claims) dropped 25 percent across the state, from 115,000 in 2011 to 85,619 in 2013.

This doesn't only mean that fewer women are now getting life-saving cancer screenings than under the federally-funded program that included Planned Parenthood clinics. Part of the whole point of this program when it was created by lawmakers in 2005 was to reduce unplanned pregnancies, a cost-saving measure when you consider more than half of all births in this state are covered by Medicaid. These huge enrollment drops would seem to indicate that fewer low-income women now have access to contraception and family planning services in Texas.

H/T Houston Press

Articles
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health