Governor Rick Perry is using women as political pawns. His fight to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program is placing women's health at risk. Planned Parenthood has provided life-saving healthcare interventions, such as cancer screenings and HIV testing, and preventive care including well woman exams and prenatal care for nearly half of Texas' low-income and uninsured woman. Hundreds of thousands of Texan woman will go without the crucial healthcare that they need because of Governor Perry's war against Planned Parenthood. Texas was already in a health crisis before Governor Perry launched his assault against Planned Parenthood and women's health due to a widespread physician shortage. Now as a result of his actions low-income women and families will have even less access to healthcare providers. Furthermore, limiting access further affects everyone's healthcare by creating an even larger burden on already overcrowded emergency rooms and charitable clinics. Governor Perry has instead increased funding to faith-based "clinics" which do not actually provide any healthcare at all. Women's health affects everyone. Without healthy women there are no healthy children, no healthy families. Texas women need to stand together to let Governor Perry and other Texas officials know that we are capable of choosing our own healthcare providers and we will not allow their own personal beliefs and politics jeopardize our health. Please join me in the fight to keep the government out the patient-provider relationship.
Texas is on the verge of a true healthcare crisis. Your decision to ban Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program (WHP) may just be what sends Texas over the edge. Nearly half of all low-income Texan women have used Planned Parenthood as their primary healthcare provider at some point in their lives. Planned Parenthood provides crucial preventative care and life-saving interventions, such as cancer screenings and HIV testing, that would otherwise be out of reach for many of these women. By cutting off Planned Parenthood funding you not only jeopardize the health of these women but also the fragile infrastructure of charitable healthcare in Texas. Texas' charitable healthcare systems were overwhelmed long before Planned Parenthood was banned from the WHP. Now, due to limited physician participation in WHP, women may have to wait six months to a year to see a provider for well woman visits and necessary prenatal care. Many will turn to overcrowded and overburdened emergency rooms for their care. This rippling effect will in turn lessen the quality of healthcare for all Texans. Limiting the number of providers in the WHP does not benefit Texan women, or any Texan. Women's health affects everyone. Healthy women produce healthy children who in turn become healthy adults. Hundreds of thousands of Texan women will go without the healthcare that they need this year due to that decision. As governor it is your duty to hold your citizens best interest at heart. Removing women's right to choose their healthcare provider and limiting healthcare accessibility for low-income women does not fulfill your duty. Please reconsider your decision to ban Planned Parenthood from the WHP.
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