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Coalition of Texas Women's Health Groups Awarded 3-Year, $13M Federal Family Planning Grant

Coalition of Texas Women's Health Groups Awarded 3-Year, $13M Federal Family Planning Grant

March 26, 2013 — A group of Texas health organizations on Monday received $13 million in federal Title X family planning funds that typically are awarded to the state, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, which includes Planned Parenthood affiliates, will receive the funding over three years, beginning with an approximately $6.5 million payout this year. The grant money may be used for contraception and prevention services but not for elective abortion (Cardona, Dallas Morning News, 3/26).

Title X funding in previous years has gone to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which also applied for this round of funding (Ramshaw, Texas Tribune, 3/25).

However, because Texas in 2012 began enforcing a state law that prohibits organizations affiliated with abortion providers from participating in its state Women's Health Program, the federal government told state officials it would end federal funding for the program (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/3).

Fran Hagerty, CEO of the association, said the funds will be distributed to 34 providers representing 121 clinics, helping to serve 160,000 state residents (Dallas Morning News, 3/26).

In February, Hagerty said that no one would be excluded from care provided by the coalition "based on any political consideration," adding, "When you're not beholden to the Legislature ... when you don't have anything else to consider, it's pretty simple: getting women served."

Carrie Williams, spokesperson for the Texas DSHS, said the agency still is "reviewing the information to get a sense of the full impact" (Smith, "Newsdesk," Austin Chronicle, 3/25). She said, "We have a long history with these dollars and have been dedicated to using them to maximize family planning services for women in Texas. Our hope is that the provider base remains healthy and that any transition is smooth for those who need services" (Texas Tribune, 3/25).