Rally States: Don't Mess With Texas Women

It was a huge rally for women not happy with the direction of Texas' Women's Health Program. That program provides a number of health care services to women who make too much to be eligible for Medicaid. But the program could come to an end soon, unless Texas lawmakers or the federal government change the policy.

This is what it sounded like just outside the entrance to Planned Parenthood’s Houston headquarters near the Gulf Freeway.

"Push back!"

'"Fight back!"

"Push back!"

" Fight back!"

Outside the parking lot near the street, a line of anti-abortion protestors holding signs and praying. 

"Give us this day our daily bread ..."

Planned Parenthood’s Rochelle Tafolla and the 100 or more other women at the rally blame Governor Rick Perry for trying to exclude Planned Parenthood from the program.

Most of the money for the program comes from the federal government and the Health and Human Services Department says Texas will lose federal funding if it continues with its plan to keep Planned Parenthood out.

"Now he’s proposing to end the Women’s Health Program and deny women basic life saving cancer screenings, birth control and basic health care. Now he’s proposing he’s going to find a solution. But governor Perry’s record shows he can’t be trusted when it comes to women’s health."

Doctor Michelle Curtis, an OB-GYN, talked about the ramifications of ending the Women’s Health Program.

"I have seen the tragic heartbreak of what happens when these services are too hard to access or are simply unavailable. I know a thirty year old with diabetes, who lost her job and her insurance, and her ability to monitor or care for her diabetes. She had a hard time finding services in her area to get reliable birth control and this led to an unintended pregnancy."

 Jonee Longoria is a client of WHP and told the crowd how it helped her get through some tough times.

"I was a single struggling, single parent struggling and I had one child living in poverty. I did not want another one. I went back to school. I went to TSU, but I don’t think where I’m at now would have been possible at all without WHP."

Earlier in the day Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee held a meeting on the matter and vowed to get more time from the Obama administration to work out a solution.

"We’re going to fight with every inch to not lose the $40 million. That the health and human services will work with us. That the president will work with us. That we already have an extension and we will look before March 31st to secure another extension."

The women are putting the blame on Governor Perry, but on his website the governor says it is the Obama administration that are the bad guys. The federal government is the one that’ll be denying care to women by defunding the women’s health program.

"Don’t mess with Texas women! Don’t mess with Texas Women!"

 

Don't mess with Texas women protesters