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Government/Politics

Pro-life Group Wants Planned Parenthood Defunded, Even For Cancer Screening

A Texas-based anti-abortion group, responsible for helping author the state’s comprehensive abortion bill in 2013, has demanded even tighter restrictions on family planning clinics in 2015. The Texas Alliance For Life’s legislative agenda includes taking away the last bit of money Planned Parenthood is receiving from the state.

In 2011, members of the Texas legislature ended the state’s involvement with a federal women’s healthcare grant, and started the Texas Women’s Health Fund, excluding Planned Parenthood from any state funding.

That clearly wasn’t enough, for now, ahead of the 2015 legislative session, the Texas Alliance for Life hopes to end the little money Planned Parenthood still receives, to provide birth control and breast and cervical cancer screening. 

“We think those moneys should go to organizations that truly help women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Planned Parenthood can do nothing for a woman who is diagnosed with cancer in the course of treatment,” said Joe Pojman, the group's executive director.

Pojman said that many women served by the programs have limited transportation and are in need of a facility that provides full access to care, both diagnoses and treatment. But Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said a bill of this type could further limit women’s access to preventative medicine.

“And that screening process is so needed. So not every single [Planned Parenthood] provider is exactly an oncologist, but having this screening process in place is so critical for detecting cancer early,” she stated. Gutierrez added that Planned Parenthood clinics did provide treatment for some earlier stages of cancer, but, like regular gynecologists, would have to refer a woman to a specialist for later stages of the disease.