You’ve probably heard that since Obamacare launched red state Kentucky has reduced its uninsured population by 9%.
If Texas did that, 561,141 people would be insured and hell would have frozen over.
In 2010, 6,234,900 Texans lacked health insurance and Republicans apparently decided that their biggest problem was that they weren’t producing enough uninsured people to keep that number growing.
Over the last two years, they cut the state’s family planning budget by two-thirds, from $111 million to $37.9 million. They established a tiered system and forfeited $30 million in federal funds so they could exclude Planned Parenthood and other organizations affiliated with abortion providers from receiving state or federal resources.
The 2011 policies shuttered 76 family planning clinics across the state and caused 55 more to reduce hours. Publicly funded clinics served 77 percent fewer patients in 2013 compared to 2011 (202,968 and 47,322, respectively).
And this is before the new set of reproductive rights restrictions that Wendy Davis helped temporarily delay went into effect and shuttered even more clinics across the state.
The Lone Star State has also rejected Medicaid Expansion for the estimated 1,000,000 people it would have covered at no expense to the state for three years, another move that will guarantee that the unintended pregnancy rate high remains sky high.
If that wasn’t enough, Attorney General Greg Abbott has been working is actively working to stop Navigators for signing up residents through the exchanges.
Despite Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Abbott’s best efforts, the law is helping Texans.
And nowhere is the help more needed than in the Rio Grande Valley.
Andrea Flynn looked at a recent report from Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and found women whose health care has been so decimated by conservative policies that they must go over the border to see a doctor:
Women who detected lumps in their breasts four years ago but cannot afford the mammogram to determine if they are cancerous. Women who received mammograms months ago but cannot get results because of exorbitant doctor’s fees. Women with ovarian cysts and cervical pain who risk their lives swimming across the river and traveling through towns rife with violence to access care in Mexico.
These women – and the thousands more they represent – must decide between paying rent, giving their children food and a roof over their heads, or having a mammogram, a Pap test, or contraceptives.
Wendy Davis recently gave her own definition of what it means to be pro-life:
I am pro-life. I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.
Based on this definition, Texas under the leadership of Rick Perry and Republicans may be the least pro-life state in the union. The Affordable Care Act could change that if it could just get the GOP out of the way.