In the middle of a long lasting battle around Planned Parenthood, Texas cuts off funding of HIV prevention program.
On Monday, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast received a notice from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in which they were informed that the state is not renewing their funding for the HIV prevention program.
The contract which won’t be renewed after it expires on December 31 was receiving federal funds through the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) but the funding was managed by the state. The $600,000 annual funds were used by the health care provider for HIV prevention service, HIV testing, referral consultations, counselling for HIV-positive persons and condom distribution.
According to Texas Tribune, when asked about the situation, a spokesperson for the CDC admitted they were not aware of any notice and refused to comment any further.
Planned Parenthood GF was receiving the grant since 1988 and with its help they were serving HIV-positive people located in the Huston area. Only during the last two years the grant helped the organization to test over 138,000 people at risk of infection with HIV and identifying 1,182 HIV-positive people.
Planned Parenthood GF’s spokeswoman, Rochelle Tafolla says that the state cut the funding in an ‘attempt to score political points’ but by doing so it will harm tens of thousands of people whose access to health care will be restricted as no other organization will have the resources to fill the gap created by the funds cutting.
This decision by the state of Texas is only one of the last attempts to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, coming only a month after the Republican leaders of Texas announced their intentions to kick out Planned Parenthood from Medicaid federal program which provides health insurance for poor people.
The war against Planned Parenthood has started after a video was released in which officials of Planned Parenthood were saying they harvest tissue from aborted fetuses with research purposes. However, the group has vehemently denied the accusations arguing that the video was dramatically edited. More than that, the abortion services provided by the group are separated from their health care programs.
Planned Parenthood receives $3.1 million through Medicaid which they use to get access to family planning for low income women.
Another attack on Planned Parenthood was a provision written into the budget which wouldn’t allow clinics affiliated with providers of abortion services to participate in the state-federal program which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured poor women in Texas.
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