TEXAS, August 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Still reeling from funding cuts in Texas, Planned Parenthood is closing clinics and merging affiliates throughout the state, Texas Right to Life reports.
The national abortion giant received a major blow this summer when Texas Governor and presidential contender Rick Perry signed into law a bill that stripped the organization of its funding, and prohibited the state government from contracting with any organization that provides abortions.
A July report in the Gainesville Daily Register confirmed the closure of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Gainesville as a direct result of these legislative developments.
“Like many healthcare providers facing funding cuts after this Texas Legislative session, Planned Parenthood is adjusting its business model to ensure that our mission of providing healthcare education and advocacy across Texas remains strong,” Ken Lambrecht, CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, told the news service. “We are in the process of reconstructing to ensure that we can continue to best serve communities throughout North Texas.”
Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago told LifeSiteNews.com that his organization called over 70 Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas and confirmed six additional closures in Arlington, Mesquite, Plano, Sherman, Terrell, and Waxahachie. All seven locations are scheduled to be closed by the end of September.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s website indicates that a center in Groesbeck is “temporarily closed.”
“Even though these clinics are family planning clinics, so there’s not actually any abortions being provided at the clinics that are closing their doors, there’s no mistake that these are abortion-minded clinics that are sending women to abortion clinics,” Seago commented.
He also said that a planned merger between Planned Parenthood’s Waco affiliates in Central Texas and their Austin affiliates is believed to be related to budget cuts, based on press reports of layoffs related to the merger.
The organization has also announced a merger of Louisiana affiliates with affiliates in Houston and Southeast Texas.
Elizabeth Graham, Director of Texas Right to Life, called the developments “historic for the pro-life movement and the protection of women’s health.”
Pro-life advocates in the state are also celebrating an end to tax-funded abortions as a result of the new law, which denies state funds to county hospital districts that use local tax money to fund abortion services.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Central Health Board in Travis County, formerly the only county in the state financing abortions with tax revenue, voted unanimously last week to end publicly funded abortion services.
As LifeSiteNews reported in April, funds stripped from family planning organizations have been re-allocated to pregnancy centers, among other programs.
According to a recent Texas Tribune report, the Texas legislature allocated an additional $300,000 to the state’s Alternative to Abortion Services program, for a total of $8.3 million in state funding.