High Plains Public Radio

Planned Parenthood

Huffington Post

Yesterday HPPR reported on how pregnancy-related deaths in Texas doubled in the year after the state cut funding to women’s health programs. Now, as the Huffington Post reports, Texas is just an extreme snapshot of the United States’ bigger maternal mortality problem.

Illusive Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Five years ago Texas slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health programs. That same year, a new study shows, the state experienced a sudden and dramatic spike in pregnancy-related deaths.

Patrick Michels / Texas Observer

After decades of being restricted, abortion access is on the rise again in Texas, reports The Texas Observer.

CC BY-SA 2.0 fr/Wikipedia

In recent years, the Texas Legislature has mounted an aggressive push to defund Planned Parenthood. The effort reached an impasse last month when the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas effort to close many clinics in the state.

Now the women’s health organization has received more good news. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas has received a $2 million donation to fund birth control to low-income residents, reports New York magazine.

Eric Gay / AP photo

This week the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that had closed over half the state’s abortion clinics.

Now the question becomes, will those clinics re-open? And if so, when?


Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Kansas over a plan to strip it of government healthcare funding, reports Newsweek. According to court documents released this week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment plans to cut Planned Parenthood off from state Medicaid funds beginning next Tuesday. The agency is acting at the bequest of Governor Sam Brownback, who says no Kansas taxpayer money should go to Planned Parenthood.


In 2015, the first full year after Texas enacted tough new regulations on abortion clinics, there were 9,000 fewer abortions performed in the state, reports The Christian Science Monitor. The Supreme Court has called the tightening of abortion access in Texas a “controlled experiment” for the enacting of similar laws in other states.

James Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

In regional news, a new law working its way through the Oklahoma senate would make it illegal to perform abortions in the state, reports KFOR.

Esther Honig / Heartland Health Monitor/KHI

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Editor’s note: This story was revised at 1:30 p.m. March 1, 2016, to include information about services available at federally qualified health clinics in Kansas.

At a domestic violence shelter in Hays, director Tiffany Kershner sits with a client in a small meeting room.

Texas Policy Evaluation Project and Whole Woman’s Health / The New York Times

No one questions that the number of abortion facilities in Texas has dropped in recent years. In 2013 the Texas legislature passed a law that, among other things, required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The law led to the number of clinics in the Lone Star State being reduced by half. Challengers to the law contend that the law is unnecessary and draconian.

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

A high-ranking Texas Health and Human Services official has quit after co-authoring a controversial study, reports The Texas TribuneRick Allgeyer, the commission’s director of research, was listed as an author on a Planned Parenthood study. The research found that fewer women accessed a Texas family planning program after Planned Parenthood was forced out.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The past few years have seen an aggressive campaign to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas. And now those cuts have resulted in a steep drop in contraception and a 27% increase in births, reports The Guardian. The information comes from a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

American Life League / Flickr Creative Commons

Houston found itself at the center of a political firestorm this week, when a grand jury investigating wrongdoing against Planned Parenthood instead indicted two abortion opponents.

Last year Governor Sam Brownback ordered an investigation to see if Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri were involved in selling fetal tissue. Brownback said he'd block Medicaid funding because of this reason. A recent report from the Board of Healing Arts seems to vindicate the organization.

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

Two months ago Texas Republican leaders announced they would kick Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid. But the organization is still receiving state funds to provide health care for low-income women, reports The Texas Tribune. And now the state officials who called for cutting the funding have fallen silent.

Eric Gay / Associated Press

In Texas, the fight over abortion just grew more heated. The New York Times reports that state investigators showed up at Planned Parenthood centers in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville. The investigators asked the clinics to turn over private information about patients, including medical records and home addresses and phone numbers.

Emily Albracht / Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune reports that state health officials have adopted Republican guidelines that disallow abortion-affiliated groups from running abstinence-education programs in the state. New language Health and Human Services materials would prohibit entities even loosely affiliated with abortion providers from receiving any funding to teach abstinence. 


The exclusion of Planned Parenthood has left gaps in health care for women, especially low-income women.  Republican leaders pressured Texas state health officials to begin enforcing a provision to keep out Planned Parenthood, as well as any clinic, with organizational ties to abortion providers from the Women’s Health Program in 2011.  The program provides cancer screening, well-woman exams and contraception for low-income women.