Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2012
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on Women's Health Program

(Houston, Texas)—Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) released a statement today regarding the injunction granted to Texas Planned Parenthood against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's plans for the Women's Health Program.

"I am very pleased that Judge Yeakel made the right choice to stop HHSC's reckless attempts to weaken the Texas Women's Health Program. It is a very important first step in this effort and I hope it forces the Texas leadership to stop their damaging and dangerous attack on women's health.

"Over the past several months, we've witnessed a rapid and comprehensive assault on women's health in Texas and across the US. We've moved well beyond the issue of choice into issues that most Americans believed were settled decades ago and are focusing time, effort and money fighting these battles while ignoring the needs of millions of Texans. Policymakers in Texas and all across the nation are pushing legislation to enact laws that infringe on the rights and health of women.

"Sadly, over the past year Texas has enacted drastic measures to limit women's ability to access health care, from intrusive, unnecessary trans-vaginal sonogram legislation, to cutting and eliminating cost-effective programs which provide basic preventative services for hundreds of thousands of Texas women. The effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to essentially eliminate the Women's Health Program is yet another part of this fight.

"The same people who cut $5 billion from our schools, another $5 billion from health care and underfunded Medicaid by another $5 billion - when we had nearly $10 billion in our savings account - now are willing to sacrifice millions in federal funding and preventive health care for more than 100,000 low-income Texas women.

"Texas can do better. We need to take the politics and heated rhetoric out of these discussions and focus on what matters: improving the health of women and families in Texas. Cutting essential services and implementing rules that limit access to providers simply is not the way to do it.

"Judge Yeakel made the right decision today. As this case weaves its way through the court system, we can only hope that the system will continue to stand by Texas women and against these ideological assaults on women's health."