Thousands of Texas Women Will Get Free IUDs — Thanks to Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas just received a $2 million donation that will fund long-acting reversible birth control, like intrauterine devices (IUDs) as well as STD testing for more than 1,000 lower-income women over the next of three years across over two dozen clinics from Austin to Dallas. This is a major win for reproductive rights, particularly in a state that has actively tried to hinder women's access to reproductive health care.
In recent years, Planned Parenthood has come under extensive scrutiny (see: Congress's multiple attempts to defund the organization entirely), and women in Texas, particularly disadvantaged women, have faced multiple — and drastic — setbacks to their reproductive healthcare. In 2013, Texas created the state-funded Women's Health Program to hinder funding to the organization and contain family-planning services to providers that did offer abortion services. A study published in March in the New England Journal of Medicine found that blocking Planned Parenthood's funds decreased the number of women filling birth control prescriptions and increased the pregnancy rate — particularly among lower income women.
The donation comes on behalf of the Boone Family Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation—each of which gave the organization $1 million to put toward providing greater reproductive health care resources to Texas women.
"Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider of health care in our communities, and we're proud to partner with Planned Parenthood for such a transformational program," Cecilia Boone, a Boone Foundation board member and the former chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Dallas Morning News. "Each time a Texas woman has expanded access to health care and education, regardless of her zip code, income, or insurance status, it is a win for public health and for our communities."
“With generous donations by the Boone Family Foundation and Harold Simmons Foundation, Planned Parenthood is proud to be able to expand access to essential healthcare locally,” said Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas CEO Ken Lambrecht in a statement. “We are delighted that these donations will enable Planned Parenthood’s health centers to continue to reduce barriers to healthcare, especially for uninsured and low-income women, by providing essential healthcare and birth control to women throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.”
Giving women access to long-acting forms of birth control can have a huge effect on unplanned pregnancies — when Colorado had a similar program, the state's teen pregnancy rate dropped 40 percent and abortions dropped by 42 percent.
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