On Jan. 22, the Texas Tribune will host a discussion featuring Reps. Donna Howard (D - Austin) and Sarah Davis (R - Houston). Reps. Howard and Davis are heading a discussion about the future of family planning and women’s reproductive health services/policies in Texas. This is a shockingly impressive bipartisan effort.
The timing of the event could not be more perfect in its ability to create a stirring in the Austin community. First, this much needed discussion falls on the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision. Second, Planned Parenthood just lost an appeal to temporarily rejoin the Texas Women’s Health Program. Finally, there have been many shocking reports concerning providers listed in the reformed WHP website that either do not provide women’s health services or were not actually participants.
In retrospect, those findings should not be that surprising. Despite Perry’s supersonic haste to exclude Planned Parenthood, alternatives to how the state would provide the $56 million needed to cover the loss of federal funding for the WHP were not sufficiently provided. Basically, the math did not add up.
On Sept. 4, 2012, the two representatives both testified at the hearing concerning the unprecedented changes to the Texas Women’s Health Program hosted by the Texas Department of State Health Services. It will be very interesting to see such a bipartisan effort to address the state’s attack on women’s health considering the differences between the two representatives. Continue reading this post »