Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Initiatives - Women’s Health Program

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Fighting for Women's Health

The Texas Women's Health Program provides preventative health care to more than 100,000 Texas women, including screenings for breast and cervical cancer, diabetes and hypertension, among other services. First implemented in 2007, the program is being phased out by the Obama Administration.

Under federal law, state leaders are left to administer the program and set criteria for who is considered a qualified provider. Consistent with state and federal law, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has developed the program to ensure continued access to care by qualified providers across Texas.

The Obama Administration rejected the state's waiver application because Texas law excludes abortion providers and their affiliates, like Planned Parenthood, from a list of qualified providers. This is despite the fact Planned Parenthood represents less than 2 percent of enrolled providers statewide.

Following the administration’s decision, Gov. Perry directed Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek to establish TWHP to continue providing the services WHP provided, until the decision is reversed by Congress or the courts.

Women's Health Program Facts

» The program has been in effect since 2007, and provides preventative health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings to more than 100,000 low-income, Texas women.
» Texas law prohibits tax dollars from funding abortion providers and their affiliates and has since the program's inception.
» Under federal law, states administer Medicaid and have the right to set the criteria for "qualified providers" in the program, not Washington. This is exactly what Texas has done, in accordance with Texas law. Texas law prohibits tax cheats, deadbeat parents or people suspected of serious abuse from participating as a provider in Medicaid, even though federal law does not.
» There are more than 2,500 qualified providers in the WHP.
» Planned Parenthood represents less than two percent of providers in the WHP.
» Planned Parenthood's cost per client is 43 percent higher than most other providers, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
» In FY 2010, nearly 80 percent of women served received WHP services from non Planned Parenthood providers.

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