Texas GOP Rep On Cuts To Family Planning: ‘Of Course This Is A War On Birth Control’
The GOP’s concerted campaign against women’s health has resulted in about 1,000 anti-abortion bills in state legislatures across the country and numerous federal attempts to eradicate a woman’s right to choose. The extremity of the efforts include attempts to redefine “personhood,” put warning labels on contraception, and criminalize birth control altogether. But while they smother women’s rights with one hand, Republicans insist “we are not attacking women” on the other. “This is not a war against women,” said Republican founder of WomanTrend Kellyanne Conway.
Texas Rep. Wayne Christian (R), however, begs to differ. With Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) at the helm, Texas Republicans have passed an “emergency” law forcing women to view a sonogram before an abortion, threatened a poor women’s health care program over Planned Parenthood funding, are seeking to restrict hospitals and physicians over abortion procedures, and has cut funding for family planning clinics by two-thirds.
When asked whether Texas’s anti-family planning efforts were “a war on birth control,” Christian replied, “Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything”:
The goal is to get government money out of the abortion process and if contraceptive services have to suffer a bit of collateral damage in the process, so be it. When The Texas Tribune asked state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said “yes.”
“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” Christian said.
Family planning clinics are routinely referred to by many Texas Republican legislators as “abortion clinics” even though none of the 71 family planning clinics in the state that receive government funding provide abortions. Texas and federal law prohibits that, but most women’s health clinics will refer women or teens who want an abortion to a provider.
“They’re sitting here, referring women out to receive abortions,” Christian said in an interview with NPR. “Those are the clinics, including Planned Parenthood, we were targeting.”
While disturbing, Christian’s honesty is a refreshing change from Republicans’ more common defense that cuts to women’s health care will save money. As NPR notes, the state estimates that 300,000 women will lose access to family planning services because of these cuts, resulting in roughly 20,000 additional unplanned births. “Texas already spends $1.3 billion on teen pregnancies — more than any other state.”
There is no doubt that Republicans across the country are waging a comprehensive war against women’s health. At least Christian is willing to admit it.