Planned Parenthood defunding causes spike in teen birth rates: Study - Metro US

Planned Parenthood defunding causes spike in teen birth rates: Study

Planned Parenthood

About 2,200 teens in Texas would not have given birth were it not for the reduction in family planning funding, including funds used by Planned Parenthood, according to a new study.

Since 2011, teen birth rates have increased in Texas as the state government strips funding from family planning programs, according to the study by Analisa Packham, an assistant professor at the Miami University and Texas A&M alumnus.

In the same year, the family planning budget for Texas decreased by 67 percent from $111 million to $37.9 million in 2012 and 2013. Planned Parenthood was hit the hardest, according to the report.

Texas cut $73 million from the family planning fund —$50 million more than New Jersey, Montana, New Hampshire and Maine combined.

Funding cuts resulted in 80 closed clinics in the state and a 3.4 percent rise in teenage birth rates.

“I find little evidence that reducing family planning funding achieved this goal,” Packham wrote. “The estimates suggest that nearly 2,200 teens would have not given birth absent the reduction in Texas family planning funding.”

Former Gov. Rick Perry rallied against Planned Parenthood in 2012, but the doctoral graduate in economics disagrees with the current energy czar, saying he’s wrong if he thinks defunding will result in a reduced number of abortions.

By the end of 2012, 25 percent of Texas family planning clinics shut down, 18 percent reduced service hours and nearly 50 percent fired staff, according to Packham’s study.

“Reducing funding for family planning services can have the unintended consequences of increasing abortion and reducing the number of women seeking preventative health care,” Packham told the Houston Chronicle. “Moreover, the funding for family planning services is cost effective. Cutting such programs is cutting an investment in women and children, which can lead to lower economic productivity, lower tax revenue and higher public expenditures down the line.”

Gov. Greg Abbott asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for federal funding approval in June for the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program, according to the Chronicle. The program is intended to provide women with family planning services, excluding “elective abortions or the promotion of elective abortions.”

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