Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last Friday that the federal government will no longer provide funding through the Medicaid family planning program for the state of Texas. This comes after Governor Rick Perry's decision to implement a law that would exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid women's health program, essentially cutting any government funding to Planned Parenthood. 11 clinics in the state have had to close as a result.
Officials at the Medicaid federal agency said that states are not allowed to restrict patient's access to particular providers and still receive federal funding. Cindy Mann, a top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, stated, "Medicaid law is clear - patients, not state government officials, are able to choose the health-care providers that are best for them and their families."
The Medicaid women's health program provides free birth control and exams to more than 130,000 women in the state. Texas will be the only state to have federal funding for this program withdrawn. Several states, however, such as Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana, are considering similar action to Texas in cutting funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.
Media Resources: Reuters 3/16/12; Huffington Post 3/15/12; Wall Street Journal 3/15/12; Reuters 3/13/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .