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This is good news:

One of the early casualties of massive budget cuts is state funding of nonprofit crisis pregnancy resource centers, according to the first draft of the Texas House budget. The shared mission of the centers is to provide counseling and sonograms to pregnant women to convince them not to choose abortion.

During the past two budget cycles, the state provided the centers with $13 million, primarily through a contractor, Texas Pregnancy Care Network. In 2007, the Legislature voted to provide $2.5 million per year to the centers, diverted from federal grants through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) via the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In 2009, lawmakers upped support to $4 million per year, with $1.5 million per year coming from the state’s general revenue.

Crisis pregnancy centers are but one tactic used by the forced birth movement to deprive women of access to real reproductive health care and information. Such centers have repeatedly been found to give women false medical information for the explicit purpose of preventing them from obtaining, or even learning about, abortions.

A 2006 Congressional report, False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers, concluded:

Pregnant teenagers and women turn to federally funded pregnancy resource centers for advice and counseling at a difficult time in their lives. These centers, however, frequently fail to provide medically accurate information. The vast majority of pregnancy centers contacted in this investigation misrepresented the medical consequences of abortion, often grossly exaggerating the risks. This tactic may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion. But it denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.

In fact, these centers are usually staffed not by medical professionals, but by volunteer forced birthers who gladly lie to women about so-called medical risks of abortion in order to deter them from exercising their right to obtain a legal medical procedure.

And here's another silver lining from the Texas budget crisis:

Also cut from the current budget is funding for abstinence education, which totaled $1.1 million in the current budget cycle. The program is intended to instruct minors that abstaining from sex is the “preferred choice of behavior for unmarried couples,” according to budget documents, and is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence education was estimated to serve about 10,600 people in the current biennium.

This is also good news because we know that abstinence-only education does not work and in fact may contribute to increased teen pregnancy rates.

So if Texas has dug itself such a deep hole that it can't continue to invest millions of dollars into mis-educating and misleading its citizens, that's a very good thing.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:00 PM PST.

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