The state of Texas has long had a dicey relationship with Planned Parenthood. Legislators there voted to drastically cut public funding for the organization several years back (which, predictably, led to more low-income pregnancies). That’s why the $2 million donation that was just pledged to Texas Planned Parenthood is such a relief to the beleaguered organization.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Boone Family Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation each pledged $1 million to fund long-acting reversible birth control such as IUDs, as well as some STD testing.
“For us, it’s really just about access to the best healthcare for all women in Dallas,” Betsy Healy, Harold Simmons Foundation grants director, said. “We felt this was an option women should have. It’s about removing the cost barrier.”
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that, in the wake of Texas’s draconian Planned Parenthood funding cuts, a significantly lower number of women received IUDs, and low-income pregnancies went on the rise.
“Politicians have claimed time and again that [Planned Parenthood] patients can simply go to other health care providers — and tragically that’s not the case,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, in response to the study. “Instead, women were left out in the cold. Texas is fast becoming a cautionary tale” for other states that also cut funding to the organization.
According to The Cut, similar donations to in Colorado led to a 40 percent drop in teen pregnancy rates and a 42 percent decrease in teen abortions. The state of Delaware is about to embark on a similar program with a mix of public and private funding.
As Cecilia Boone of the Boone Family Foundation said to the Dallas Morning News, “Each time a Texas woman has expanded access to health care and education, regardless of her ZIP code, income or insurance status, it is a win for public health and for our communities.”