More than 60 family planning clinics forced to close—only 12 belonged to Planned Parenthood. Critics say conservative lawmakers are ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’
Diaphragms. Depo-Provera injections. Oral contraceptives. Pregnancy testing. Pap smears. Screening for sexually transmitted diseases. Since July 1, basic services like these are no longer accessible to low-income women in rural San Saba County, two hours northwest of Austin. If a poor woman in San Saba hopes to prevent pregnancy, she now must pay a private doctor or drive an hour to a free clinic. But for the many poor women, teens and undocumented clients of San Saba’s family planning program—run by Hill Country Community Action—both payment and travel may be beyond reach. The large majority of the program’s clients couldn’t afford contraceptives; of the 2,500 visits to the program in the last nine months, only 28 clients paid full fee, according to program records. Now that Hill Country Community Action has lost state family planning funds, San Saba County’s ability to prevent unwanted pregnancies just became a great deal harder.