Texas Budget Proposal Would Cut Funding for Cancer Screenings at Planned Parenthood

January 28, 2015 — The Texas Senate's proposed 2016-2017 state budget released Tuesday could reduce or eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood to participate in the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, the Dallas Morning News' "Trail Blazers Blog" reports.

About the Program

The program uses state and federal funds to provide no-cost cancer screenings and diagnostic tests to low-income women ages 21 to 64 who do not have health insurance or are underinsured. According to the "Trail Blazers Blog," Planned Parenthood provided such services to about 3,300 of the almost 33,600 women who participated in the program last year.

Budget Proposal Details

The proposed budget would create a tiered system to determine which providers receive funds for the program.

According to the "Trail Blazers Blog," the new system would give first priority to public and government-run health facilities that offer breast and cervical cancer screenings, followed by not-for-profit or private health centers that provide "comprehensive" preventive and primary care. Meanwhile, not-for-profit and private clinics offering specialized family planning services, such as Planned Parenthood, would be designated as the lowest priority for funding.

Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman is pushing for the change, the "Trail Blazers Blog" reports.

Planned Parenthood Response

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas spokesperson Sarah Wheat said the proposal "is about scoring political points by excluding one key women's healthcare provider -- Planned Parenthood -- from another essential program," instead of "having the goal of providing the best healthcare for cancer patients as efficiently as possible" (Martin, "Trail Blazers Blog," Dallas Morning News, 1/27).