Texas lawmakers' decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood clinics has yielded some predictably adverse results: The state saw an uptick in births, and women stopped using the most effective contraceptives.
Those findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, come from a team or researchers at the University of Texas–Austin. The analysis shows that the "exclusion of Planned Parenthood affiliates from a state-funded replacement for a Medicaid fee-for-service program in Texas was associated with adverse changes in the provision of contraception," the researchers write. More specifically, the number of claims for long-acting contraception dropped by more than one-third, while births paid for by Medicaid rose 27 percent.
This map, using data from the Guttmacher Institute, shows how Texas stacks up against the rest of the United States in meeting women's contraceptive needs:
The first significant setback for Planned Parenthood in Texas came in 2011, when, as the Los Angeles Times reports, "lawmakers cut family-planning grants by 66% across the state. The money that remained was directed toward community health centers and county health departments that provide more comprehensive care." This fund-slashing led to the closure of 82 family-planning clinics in the state, the Times reports—one-third of them Planned Parenthood-affiliated.
As Kate Wheeling noted last month, there is plenty of evidence to show the medical value of Planned Parenthood clinics, particularly for low-income Americans:
Defunding Planned Parenthood would disproportionately affect low-income Americans; roughly a third of women who rely on publicly funded clinics for contraception go through Planned Parenthood.
Bad move, Texas. Bad move.