Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Texas WHP Lawsuit

Press Release

By:  Rick Perry
Date: March 16, 2012
Location: Austin, TX

Gov. Rick Perry today applauded Attorney General Greg Abbott's swift action in response to the Obama Administration's decision to shut down the Texas Women's Health Program (WHP), which provides preventive health care to more than 100,000 low-income women:

"The Obama Administration's decision to deny health care to more than 100,000 low-income Texas women demonstrates his unwavering allegiance to abortion providers and their affiliates. As I have made clear, I will not stand by and let this Administration abandon these Texas women to advance its political agenda; Texas will fund these services with or without the federal government. This is about life and the rule of law, which Texas respects and the Obama Administration does not. I applaud Attorney General Greg Abbott's swift action to defend our state's laws and our ability to carry out the will of Texans."

View Gov. Perry's statement on the Obama Administration's decision to defund the WHP.

View Gov. Perry's statement committing the state to funding these services.

Women's Health Program Facts:

The program has been in effect since 2007, and provides preventive health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings to more than 100,000 low-income, Texas women.

Texas law prohibits tax dollars from funding abortion providers and their affiliates and has since the program's inception.

Under federal law, states administer Medicaid and have the right to set the criteria for "qualified providers" in the program, not Washington. This is exactly what Texas has done, in accordance with Texas law. Texas law prohibits tax cheats, deadbeat parents or people suspected of serious abuse from participating as a provider in Medicaid, even though federal law does not.

There are more than 2,500 qualified providers in the WHP.

Planned Parenthood represents less than two percent of providers in the WHP.
Planned Parenthood's cost per client is 43 percent higher than most other providers, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
In FY 2010, nearly 80 percent of women served received WHP services from non Planned Parenthood providers.

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