Proposed bill harmful to women's health

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The recent legislation proposed by lawmakers to redistribute funding for nonprofits will prove detrimental instead of beneficial to women across the state.

Programs like Planned Parenthood and Community Action will be placed at the bottom of the priority list for the proposed reallocation of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program. According to a Feb. 25 University Star article, the screenings provided by clinics in this program would cost almost $200 out of pocket for patients.

Legislators have tried to limit funding for medical centers and clinics three times before. This proposed law is another instance of lawmakers trying to gut support for Planned Parenthood and masking it as something else. Using roundabout legislation that attacks several beneficial nonprofits in order to target one specific program is obtuse.

Revisions to the program would change the system to a tiered one, placing the highest preference on state-, county- and community-funded clinics. According to a Jan. 28 Texas Tribune article, the diction of the budget is meant to ensure facilities without ties to clinics that provide abortions are funded first.

Low-income and uninsured women use clinics to access healthcare necessities such as breast and cervical cancer screenings. The clinics provide other pivotal health resources like sex education and birth control options.

Community Action does not perform abortions, and many Planned Parenthood locations don’t either, so this legislation is causing far more harm than good. According to the Star article, Community Action already had to close clinics and lay off staff because of legislation from the previous session.

Proximity is an important factor for providing resources to the people who need them. Forcing clinics to close makes it harder for people to get the services they need. A moral argument shouldn’t prevent people from getting the treatments they need to be healthy mentally and physically.

Nonprofit programs like Community Action provide services to women who live in rural communities. These women rely on those services, and decreasing availability will only hurt them.

Early detection is an important aspect of the cancer treatment process. Cutting off women’s access to screenings is unacceptable. This shows the legislature would rather shut down women’s health resources altogether than allow some they don’t agree with.

In an attempt to trim a few nails, passing this bill will cut a whole arm off.