The latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. The additional cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million —One Democratic representative said of her Republican colleagues, "in retrospect they did not fully grasp the implications." Well, sure. Who could have predicted it? After all, it's not like they had any estimates of the potential impact of the cuts ahead of last year's vote. Well, except for this:
Last legislative session, while lawmakers debated the cuts, the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board estimated that they would lead 284,000 women to lose family planning services, resulting in 20,000 additional unplanned births at a cost to taxpayers of $231 million.So yes, if only they had known.
And now there's a bipartisan coalition trying to come up with a way to restore the funding. Not because they've realized that all women should have the right and ability to make their own family planning decisions, mind you, but as "a cost-saving initiative if nothing else." But:
Any such agreement would almost certainly exclude Planned Parenthood from future financing.Of course. Apparently making sure that lower income women have access to basic medical care and live-saving cancer screenings isn't a cost-saving initiative that Republicans are concerned about.