Texas to Poor Women: Your Health Is Subject to Our Politics:

That is not, despite its look, a Taco Bell that served its last chalupa. No, that is one of the two Planned Parenthood clinics in Brownsville, Texas, which is on the border with Mexico. It closed last October as Texas started gutting funding for any program that provided money for women's health because money went to Planned Parenthood. The roughly 1000 patients' records, almost all low-income women, were moved to the last Planned Parenthood office in town. That clinic, while providing the morning-after pill, does not offer abortion services. If you want that, you can go to Mexico. It's closer than the nearest town in Texas where Brownsville women can get help, and you're not forced to look at a sonogram and wait a day.

But because some Planned Parenthoods do offer abortions, the Texas legislature and Governor Rick Perry have decided to stop accepting the $35 million in the federal aid from the Medicaid Women's Health Program because Planned Parenthood cannot be barred from receiving funds. Perry has now said the the state will provide funding for clinics that are not Planned Parenthood, in response to a general outcry, but he has not said how Texas will get the money.

One clinic that is funded directly by the federal government is the Brownsville Community Health Center. Its women's health branch serves 7,700 women with just two doctors on staff. Women that relied on the Texas Medicaid Women's Health Program often went to Planned Parenthood. With that option off the table, the BCHC is expecting an influx of thousands of new patients, and it can't take them, even if Texas fully funds the program without the federal government's help. There's only so many people a clinic can see, you know.

Which means, quite clearly and explicitly, that women will suffer for the crime of being poor in Texas. Everything's bigger there, even the dickishness.