Texas Cuts Planned Parenthood’s HIV Prevention Funding

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Planned parenthood pink signHIV is a disease linked to enormous amounts of death across the world, but somehow cutting funding to HIV prevention services has become something an ostensibly “pro life” politician would do, because politicians in Texas voted Monday to cut funding for HIV prevention programs through a Planned Parenthood affiliate serving the Houston area.

Planned Parenthood’s HIV prevention programs include HIV testing, counseling and education, and the dispensing of condoms. These life-saving services have been covered by a federal grant since 1988, but according to Jezebel such federal grants are disbursed by each state individually, which means Texas can decide not to continue contracting with Planned Parenthood for its HIV prevention services.

Nobody has specified who will be providing those services, however, and a Planned Parenthood spokesperson expressed concern that there might not be any organization around that was set up to provide the services that had been provided by Planned Parenthood.

“I don’t know who else is going to fill that gap, and I don’t know if anyone can frankly,” the spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast said in an interview with the Texas Tribune  “Every time the state cuts these programs in an attempt to score political points…the true victims here are tens of thousands of women and men who no longer have access to health care that they need.”

According to Raw Story, the health department in Texas says it’s “working with local health departments in the area to continue to provide these services.”

The grant reportedly went to a Planned Parenthood affiliate that served several counties in the Houston area.

Texas has already announced that it was cutting Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding, which just makes it even more difficult for the poor to access reproductive health services and contraception. Now it’s even harder for them to access HIV prevention services. Is there any good ending to this situation? It’s hard to see this adding up to anything but disaster for the people who needed these services.