A little more than three years after Texas effectively defunded Planned Parenthood by cutting funding to any organization that offers abortions, an Austin-based research team has released a report that shows how much women are affected when women’s health programs are cut. And the numbers are about as dismal as you might expect.
The study, which was performed by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at UT Austin and published yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows a significant decrease in the number of women who filed claims for long-acting reversible contraceptives, like IUDs and implants, two of the most effective forms of birth control available. Two years before Planned Parenthood funding was cut from the program on Jan. 1. 2013, 1,042 women filed claims for LARCs under the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program. By the end of 2014, that number dropped by 35.5 percent, to a mere 672 women. Those figures are just as bad for women who use injectable contraception — within the same timeframe, those claims dropped from 6,832 to 4,709 (or by 31.1 percent).
Unsurprisingly, the study shows a 1.9 percent increase in the birthing rate in counties that once had state-funded Planned Parenthood clinics during that same time period of 2011 to 2014.