In the state’s unyielding mission to keep Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry at large away from taxpayer dollars, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has excluded abortion affiliates from eligibility for state contracts to run abstinence education programs. The HHSC added language to contract applications which clearly states that groups that perform elective abortions or are affiliated with abortion providers, are ineligible for participation in the state-sponsored programs.
Per the guidelines, “Respondent shall perform no elective abortion procedures, shall neither contract with nor provide funds to any individual or entity for the performance of elective abortions, and shall submit no claims to DSHS for reimbursement of direct or indirect costs (including overhead, rent, phones, and utilities) for abortion procedures.”
The language preempts Planned Parenthood’s normal bag of tricks in the face of being cut off from any type of government funding. The HHSC application states that applicants cannot be in the same physical location or within 1,000 feet of an abortion provider. Planned Parenthood has argued in the past that their abortion and non-abortion businesses are two separate entities even when operating under the same roof. The application also states that claims cannot be submitted to the Department of State Health Services for “indirect” abortion costs, like overhead (highlighting the fact that taxpayer funds going to Planned Parenthood are fungible).
Last week’s move by the HHSC to exclude abortion providers from abstinence education programs came before Monday’s major announcement, also by the Health and Human Services Commission, that Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid enrollment is being terminated.
The move to block abortion affiliates from this budget allocation ensures that the $3M allotted for abstinence education will go entirely to non-abortion-affiliated groups that will simply teach abstinence education, unalloyed by the insidious abortion agenda of groups like Planned Parenthood. Indeed, applicants must affirm that they “will not recommend abortion as an option for pregnant women.” The least we can do for our tiniest Texans is ensure that our hard-earned dollars are not being used to recommend their termination.