Cuts to Family Planning Services Will Get One State 20,000 Unplanned Pregnancies

strollersIt looks like Texas is about to experience another boom. But this time it won't be oil -- it'll be babies! Texas legislators decided to defund what Rep. Bill Zeddler called "the abortion industry" by slashing funding for family planning. Because did you know? Family planning = abortion, y'all! Welp, we reap what we sow, Texas. We reap what we sow.

Thanks to these cuts, Texas is expecting 20,000 more unplanned pregnancies than usual. The Health and Human Services Commissions projects those unplanned pregnancies will add $273 million in costs to taxpayers. Ask any accountant, and they'll tell you that a relatively small budget cut that results in $273 million in new costs means you're flunking math. And the best part? They're not even getting what they think they paid for: fewer abortions. As governor Rick Perry would say, "Oops."


The state family planning programs that just got slashed aren't allowed to provide or even promote abortion. So there's that. (Also, "abortion industry" -- seriously?) But more importantly, there's the state's failure to exercise common sense. Did I mention these cuts are on top of the $73 million Texas cut in family planning programs in 2011?

I'm not sure Texas legislators got the memo that you can avoid unwanted pregnancies without resorting to abortion. (Psst., it's called birth control. Your wives are probably using it, guys.) And I don't know if they'll ever accept the reality that they're never going to get people to stop having sex with each other. Forget what's "fair" or "just" or what women "need" (orgasms that don't result in babies every time). Providing women's clinics that get people to use birth control saves money in the long run. 

Well anyway, I think that math/money lecture the Health and Human Services Commission gave Texas legislators finally got to them. Now they're all, "burr, hurr, hurr, I reckon we'd better scrape up $100 million for that family planning after all." Which is great -- that means less "oops" and more responsible behavior. Everyone in Texas wins.

Have you ever gotten birth control from a state-funded women's clinic?


Image via kevinpoh/Flickr

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