Houston Chronicle: Teen birth rates spiked in Texas after Planned Parenthood was defunded

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From The Houston Chronicle:

In 2011, Texas' family planning budget shrunk by 67 percent, from $111 million per biennium to $37.9 million for the following two years, Packham wrote. Planned Parenthood faced the brunt of these cuts.

The explanation for this increase in abortions is partially attributed to former Gov. Rick Perry and his public aversion to Planned Parenthood in 2012, according to the study. Packham's study challenges Perry's claims the defunding would decrease abortions in Texas.

"I find little evidence that reducing family planning funding achieved this goal," Packham wrote. "The estimates suggest that nearly 2,200 teens would have not given birth absent the reduction in Texas family planning funding."

By the end of 2012, 25 percent of Texas family planning clinics shut down, 18 percent reduced service hours, and nearly 50 percent fired staff, according to the study.

The cuts passed by Texas policymakers totaled $73 million, which was $50 million more than New Jersey, Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine combined. The comparison to these specific states was made because of the similar limits placed on family planning by their lawmakers.

Despite the antipathy Texas politicians have against funding Planned Parenthood, the alternative is actually cost effective in the long run, Packham told Chron.com via email.

"Reducing funding for family planning services can have the unintended consequences of increasing abortion and reducing the number of women seeking preventative health care," Packham said. "Moreover, the funding for family planning services is cost effective. Cutting such programs is cutting an investment in women and children, which can lead to lower economic productivity, lower tax revenue and higher public expenditures down the line."


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