The Republican party has made it a top priority to defund Planned Parenthood throughout the United States. One of the party’s first tests came in the form of a defunding effort in Texas.
Texas lawmakers started by first slashing its family planning budget in 2011 and in the process shut down over 80 clinics. Since those efforts, teen abortion rates have increased by three percent in the three years that followed, according to a new study.
Teen births also increased by 3.4 percent in the following four years. Researched pointed out that young women were refused access to preventative care, which led to a higher abortion and birth rate.
“Although the primary stated objective of the funding cuts was to decrease abortion incidents, I find little evidence that reducing family planning funding achieved this goal,” said study author, Analisa Packham of Texas A&M University.
If the GOP would not have enacted the budgetary cuts, Packham estimates that 2,200 fewer teams would have avoided pregnancy all together. She also notes that each birth costs taxpayers $27,000. The increased birthrate is an $80 million hit for Texas’ residents.
There appears to be a direct correlation to the loss of services and the increase in birth rates. The Huffington Post reports that in Gregg County, where the “local health center lost 60 percent of its family planning funding, the abortion rate increased by 191 percent between 2012 and 2014.”
The Houston Chronicle, furthers reports that Gregg County experienced a mind-boggling 1919 percent increase in abortions after legislators slashed the areas family planning budget.
Texas has proven that defunding Planned Parenthood and other family planning services is only increasing the likelihood of teen births and abortions, yet the battle wages on.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.