Texas Alliance For Life Executive Director Not Sure Why No One Is "Cheering For Rick Perry"

Categories: Politics

joe_pojman_texas_alliance_for_life.jpg
Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance For Life executive director
Pro-life groups in Texas are in an awkward position these days, as the Medicaid Women's Health Program fights for its life. On one hand, they celebrate anything that they perceive as a blow to Planned Parenthood (which Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas Executive Director Karen Garnett once memorably described at a rally we wrote about as "a gaping wound in the side of Christ.") But they also insist that they care just as much about the health of women as they do about the well-being of their fetuses. That would make it rather unseemly to celebrate the likely shutdown of a program that treats hundreds of thousands of low-income women.

As we can't seem to shut up about lately, Texas recently made a new rule for WHP providers that was aimed at kicking Planned Parenthood out of the program altogether. That rule, which the federal government says violates the Social Security Act, goes into effect today, March 14. In turn that led the feds to pull their funding, some $35 million, from the program. Even before they made that announcement, Governor Rick Perry was pledging last week to somehow keep the program going -- without Planned Parenthood (which before today saw about 40 percent of WHP clients) and without federal money (which paid for 90 percent of the program).

The two main pro-life groups in the state, Texas Right To Life and Texas Alliance for Life, have both chosen to place the blame for this whole mess squarely on the federal government and President Obama, as have Perry and the state's executive health and human services commissioner, Tom Suehs. Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham released a brief statement in late February saying in part, "Low-income women are being robbed of vital services due to President Obama's relentless support of unrestricted abortion." In a phone conversation with Unfair Park yesterday, Texas Alliance For Life executive director Joe Pojman went much further.

"The blame lies with the Obama administration," he told us. "I think they've illegally canceled this program. They're bound by federal law, and I think they're acting inconsistent with federal law. ... Clearly, the Obama administration is killing this program, which Texas wants to continue."

Pojman dismissed Planned Parenthood as "abortion providers," and insisted that their exclusion from the program makes no difference. "We think the state of Texas has taken a position to promote childbirth and not promote abortion," he said. "Planned Parenthood is certainly promoting abortion as a method of birth control. People think that may be a good or a bad thing. We don't think that's consistent with the state's policy."

Pojman also called Planned Parenthood's services "very limited healthcare," adding, "It only provides birth control, some STD testing, some STD treatments, breast and cervical cancer screenings." (That's not accurate. As the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas points out, Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers also provide annual exams, infertility counseling and treatment, screenings for diabetes, anemia and hypertension and treatment for menopause, among other things. Together, these services constitute the entire purpose of the Women's Healthcare Program. For many low-income women, they're also the only healthcare they regularly receive.)

Pojman also said he just can't understand why more people aren't patting Perry on the back more thoroughly for pledging to continue the WHP. "It surprises me I'm not seeing a clamoring of praise for Governor Perry for wanting to keep this program going," he said. He added that in a "huge, multibillion dollar state budget" it would be fairly simple to find $35 million in funds to replace what the federal government will no longer give the state.

"Planned Parenthood is losing money," Pojman said. "But the program will continue. In a year, if the funding is there and the providers are there, will there be praise for Governor Perry?"


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45 comments
Sam Osborne
Sam Osborne

It is difficult for any of us to jam our feet of clay into another person’s shoes and those that cannot realize this go stomping around muddying the lives of people they will neither personally know nor personally care about and for. The same pompous pretenders of knowing what another should do will stand in silence as pregnant women and the unborn they carry die as the collateral damage of war.

Oh, but freedom has its price? Yes it does and life and death decisions faced by one person can neither be made nor faced by another that does not know or love them as someone important in their lives---only the pretender will unconvincing claim they care more. Pretending is at the heart of the willingness to really know what another should do; so let’s pretend:

A hospital is on fire and down one wing is the raging inferno is an elderly woman in her room in the last days or months of her life, and down the other in a lab of a fertility clinic there are in a freezer 60 tubes containing live human embryos that have for years gone unused. Our heroic firemen can hear the pitiful cries for help coming from the frightened old woman, but also know that down the other way are the embryos. They have determined that they have but one chance in joint effort to save one or the others. As fate and/or God would have it, the old woman is the beloved grandmother of the youngest fireman and though he cannot make it on his own, regardless of what the others do he is going to go and get his grandmother and there is not a minute to waste.

Ah but this is but a story----but there are other stories that to those that personally face them are even more really compelling and are best left in care to the real love and concern that one or more human beings have for another. The Texas Alliance folks and their friends might better entertain them selves by waxing about how many angels can stand of the head of a pin and allow for space and place to be all right up there with them. It ought to be a right good perch from which to stand and look down in judgment of other women who are just trying to live good lives as best they can and are will willing to do so without your help.

Nunya
Nunya

I wonder how many of these unwanted babies Mr Pojman has adopted.

John2247
John2247

Planned Parenthood is "a gaping wound in the side of Christ." according to Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas Executive Director Karen Garnett.Wow.  Totally forgot about that part of the Bible. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Here is more living proof that when women vote Republican, they are idiots. Men, I can understand, since they wil never be pregnant, or have fibroids. But women? WE are the ones who have to routinely get a hand put up inside us, put feet into stirrups, have to worry about how ANY act of sex will forever change us.

I am so pro-birth-control, I wish we could blow-dart into the necks of my students as they walk down the hallways. I wish I could find someone brave enough in Dallas to conduct TOTALLY ACCURATE, completely facutal comprehensive sex ed for our teens.

But hell, forget that.

ANY woman in Texas who is unlucky enough to have a husband lose a job, or is unlucky enough to be single and poor, they are now at the mercy of "god-fearing, church going Repbulicans" and their "moral voting."

Women: It is YOUR fault. YOU let this happen. It is up to US to fix it. God help them in the election coming up. We can put people into the Texas State Legislature that have a clue, and care about the child AFTER it is born, not just before. They will care about the MOTHERS of these "precious children," and not when they are pregnant.

Could this MAN, Mr. Pojman, give me a list of clinics HIS group supports, ones that are on bus routes, are open on Saturdays or evenings, so poor women can go? Men like him make me wish for retroactive birth control.

kris8124
kris8124

Planned Parenthood is a poor investment of public funds. Planned Parenthood's cost per client is 43% higher than most other Medicaid-Women's Health Care providers, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

I applaud Governor Perry and the Texas lawmakers for directing public funds to reputable and trustworthy medical providers.

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

I can see the campaign slogan now.  "Rick Perry: Good Enough For Texas".

Lance Burgman
Lance Burgman

Listen to all you liberals. You're just so upset that there won't be more Obama-funded abortions next year. You hide behind the curtain of women's health, as if Republicans are willing to let a bunch of poor women die of ovarian cancer and breast cancer just because a few moral people don't want their money going to the bloody hands of Planned Parenthood "doctors." It sounds like some of you may need to cut back on all those hormonal birth control pills.

Edward
Edward

I guess what bugs me the most is that this action taken by the Texas Legislature doesn't accomplish anything, other then making it harder for women to get needed medical care.

This isn't going to hurt Planned Parenthood, or prevent any abortions. In fact, it's very clear that this will actually increase pregnancies, which will end up costing Texas even more money.

But I guess it will help Republicans get re-elected, with the end result being more of what we've suffered through for the past couple of sessions. This is just the beginning of what the Republicans are trying to accomplish in taking our state back a century or two.

But hey, we don't pay any taxes! So all is well.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Wow, ANOTHER dude who thinks he knows what's best for the uterus.

The women of Texas need to form some group about men's reproductive health.

Guest
Guest

They're bound by federal law,

We aren't, but they are.

Edward
Edward

Any woman who votes Republican clearly isn't thinking. But somehow the Republican party is probably going to convince women—just like they have convinced the middle class for years—to vote against their own best interests. 

Even though the tax proposals put forth by every single Republican candidate for President clearly benefits top income earners and hurts the middle class (AND increases the deficit!), middle class Americans continue to vote Republican.

Even though Republicans are cutting aid to the elderly (who ends up taking care of older parents? Usually women); cutting education (who is usually more involved in child rearing? Women); cutting women's health services (Women again!), there will be many women voting Republican "because of their morals".

Morals? How "moral" is it to kick grandma out of the nursing home? How "moral" is it to cut medical services to the less fortunate (or to anyone!)? How "moral" is it to basically let women die? How "moral" is it to have three wives, having affairs each time before you are divorced, and asking for an open marriage? Sheesh.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Pojman can't understand why we're not patting Perry on the back.  If he does come up with $35 million (which I doubt), that $35 comes from somewhere else, like education funding.  My wife lost her education position because of "lack" of state funding ("pay no attention to that pile of rainy day money, that's for important stuff like the Enterprise Fund").  So in a very direct way, Perry and his minons took away my wife's job just so they could make points in the GOP.

Not patting him on the back?  I'd like to slug him in the nose!  This is personal.  I don't care of he's running against a blue dog in the next election, I'm working on the blue dog's campaign.  He's going down.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

So many idiots......so little time.  SMH

bnuckols
bnuckols

We've had the law against Medicaid funding going to anyone that refers to or performs abortion for years.  Take a look at the lawsuit "PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF HOUSTON AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS v. SANCHEZ." http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-...Abortion is still legal, Texas and Federal Medicaid funds don't pay for them.

bnuckols
bnuckols

There is no choice other than to follow the law. There will be no meeting of the Texas Legislature until January 2013. Texas has had the same law for 10 years.We've identified thousands of facilities - and individual doctors - who are happy and willing to replace the 44 PP clinics.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Um, that guy in the picture is totally high.

Guest
Guest

How much taxpayer funding in cash did they just receive in a big fat yellow envelope labelled "AnonEMoose" from a farm-to-market address labelled "Niggerhead"?

Ed D.
Ed D.

 Great, another group where the "right to life" begins at conception and ends at birth.

lorlee
lorlee

Please don't call them pro-life, they are pro-fetus.  A more accurate linguistic description of the opposing sides on this issue is abortion rights advocates and abortion rights opponents.  Most all of us are pro-life, but some of us just don't think we have the right to make choices for other people.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

These effing people are mere minutes from breaking into a rendition of Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Sacred", aren't they?

John_McKee
John_McKee

So let me see if I understand this correctly, our state doesn't have enough money for our schools but we are going to come up with $35 million for this program just to make sure Planned Parenthood doesn't get any money that it can't use for abortion.

These asshole apparently care deeply about the fetuses but the children can fuck off on their needs like education.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Christ these people are delusional..Dont they know most of the funds provided to planned parenthood are used for birth control, pelvic and breast health.. I'm so sick and tired of these right-wing wackjobs pushing their theocratic doctrine upon people...

bnuckols
bnuckols

 I'm against domestic violence, but I don't marry the women who escape. Instead, I donate to my local family violence center.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Quit clapping and get the true facts. P P is cheaper.... and more easily found in communites.

Mavdog
Mavdog

why, perry and his partner in duplicity, suehs, wouldn't fudge the numbers on costs, would they? sure they would....just look at their press release accusing obama of responsibility for the cutoff of funds. that's about as bold faced a lie as there could be.

"Planned Parenthood is not the only provider of health care to low-income Texas women. Each year, some 78 contractors across Texas (funding roughly 286 providers) receive federal funds allocated by the state to provide this basic care. In fiscal year 2010, these providers used roughly $47.6 million in funds to provide basic health care to a total of 257,895 low-income clients. Of these groups, the public providers saw the most clients at just more than 86,000 – 37% of all low-income reproductive health clients served with these funds – but, at $219, these groups' cost per client was higher than that of Planned Parenthood. The other contractors include city and county health departments, hospitals, community health centers (like Austin's People's Com­mun­ity Clinic), stand-alone family planning clinics, and federally qualified health centers. However, Planned Parenthood's long institutional history has allowed the organization to hone its delivery of preventative reproductive health care to women across the country and in Texas, making it uniquely able to provide services in a cost-effective manner in even the most isolated communities. Last year, PP clinics in Texas used federal funds to see more than 73,000 patients at an average cost of just $168 per client."

http://www.austinchronicle.com...

Mmlennarz
Mmlennarz

Since reproductive-health care of women directly impacts the men who have intercourse with women, then both those men & women will be impacted by the Texas no-pp as well as the waiver for some employers not to cover birth control. So who wins? Clearly men who have sex with men ........, Rush,...those altarboy-abusers...& whomever inserted "LGBT same-gender partners" as victims to bethe covered in the "Violence Against Women" act

Edward
Edward

Actually, this action proves that YES, Republicans ARE willing to let a bunch of poor women die of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

Because that's exactly what will happen now. There aren't "thousands" of other service providers lining up to take Planned Parenthood's place. Perry can't find the money, PLUS Texas now has to pay 100% of the cost, when before they only had to pay 10%.

A-nony-mouse
A-nony-mouse

You are wrong. No federal money goes to pay for abortions. At all. As bnuckols so helpfully provided above: "We've had the law against Medicaid funding going to anyone that refers to or performs abortion for years.  Take a look at the lawsuit "PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF HOUSTON AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS v. SANCHEZ. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-...Abortion is still legal, Texas and Federal Medicaid funds don't pay for them."

A quote from the lawsuit:"The regulations for Title X of the Public Health Service Act specify that funds may not be used to finance abortions or abortion-related activity. Both parties agree that any Title XX funds used to match Title X funds are subject to the same restrictions."

Mavdog
Mavdog

"you're just so upset there won't be more Obama-funded abortions next year."

You are correct, "there won't be more Obama-funded abortions next year". There also won't be any less...because there aren't ANY to begin with. ZERO tax $ go to pay for abortions. Got that?

The good old boys in the Texas GOP decided that not providing health services to the poorest Texans was better than allowing the evil Planned Parenthood to continue to provide those basic health services, services that do not include abortions as those are completely separate clinics with separate funding.

Of course, only a cretin would believe that curtailing a women's access to contraception, which these Planned Parenthood clinics being denied funding facilitate, or access to education on reproduction (the evil sex Ed), which Planned Parenthood provides as well, would lower the number of abortions. The bottom line is more low income women will be pregnant, and more abortions will likely occur.

Great job GOP! That's the way to show those liberals what's right.

bnuckols
bnuckols

 On behalf of the women I know who vote Republican, we think very well. We're also giving our time and money voluntarily to help those who need it in our town. We have a sliding scale and a free clinic in my town, a family violence shelter and a pregnancy assistance center that arranges prenatal help and also helps with the rest of the family, before and after the baby is born. I'm sure that Dallas has many such places.

How moral is it to expect everyone to pay for our own parents' care? Both of my parents taught me personal responsibility. I considered it a privilege to care for my mother when she was dying, although I lost my job when I went to be with her in her last 2 weeks. In fact, it was Mama's last lesson: I found that I had strengths I didn't know I had.

And finally, back to the subject of the article. Texas did not raise taxes in 2011. Any increase would have had to go to a popular vote, to change the State Constitution. How much would you have raised taxes and how would you have convinced the voters to okay it?

BTW, PP takes donations.The South Texas subsidiary got nearly $1M in donations last year. Give what you want, where and how *you* want. You could also ask Secretary Sebelius to continue the waiver, so that what funds the State allocated will continue as planned - and the money that Texas tax payers sent to DC will come back to Texas.

Grumpydemo
Grumpydemo

Making shit up is some much fun, makes you feel like you're working at FOX right?

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

From Thousands identified...............

"bnuckols 3 hours ago There is no choice other than to follow the law. There will be no meetingof the Texas Legislature until January 2013. Texas has had the same law for 10 years.We've identified thousands of facilities - and individual doctors - who are happy and willing to replace the 44 PP clinics.

"To " I Have Worked in doctor's offices

bnuckols 1 hour ago in replyto Edward I have worked in doctor's offices that billed the Family Planning and Well Woman, I have done the exams and screening. Title X funding and Medicaid aren't great payment for what we family doctors do, but they're better than nothing. Look for a Medicaid participating doctor in your town, ask him or her.

Ending with...(Look for a Medicaid participating doctor in your town, ask him or her.)

This is a small example of the old Southwest saying.

ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE ....

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Liar liar pants on fire.  Rick, go back to work.

Edward
Edward

The idea that there are "thousands of facilities and individual doctors who are happy to replace the 44 PP clinics" is a total fabrication. Who identified them? Where is the list? 

Considering that it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find doctors and facilities that will accept Medicare/Medicaid, I find it very hard to believe that they are standing in line to provide these services to low income women—especially when the money to pay for the services hasn't even been found.

I'm tired of these people continually talking about how easy it is for these women to get the necessary services. I don't think that is reality at all—especially for women not in urban areas.

Show us the list.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Cite that "law."

While you're at it, go ahead and dig up the legality of abortions.

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

“We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children.” -- Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General

DaTruth
DaTruth

They can't be called pro-life since anti-abortion rights fascists are typically also pro death penalty and pro keeping people from access to health care that would save their lives.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

That's because they believe life begins at conception but ends at birth.

Edward
Edward

Anyone who thinks the Republican Party cares one iota about education is delusional. All the home schoolers and church schoolers would be thrilled if public education was further decimated. 

As we can see across the country for the past few years, Republicans have also pushed  to cut funding for higher education (and of course Santorum thinks going to college is elitist anyways). The last thing Republicans need are more college educated voters running around believing in things like science and economics and all that other apparently non-Biblical stuff.

Mavdog
Mavdog

You're correct, the legislature did not raise taxes. They could have found a way to increase state revenues if they had the wherewithal, or could have used some of the billions of $ in the "rainy day fund", but too many of the repubilcans believed it was best to apply draconian cuts to state funding instead.

I don't have the exact figures at hand but the legislature reduced the women's health program funding by about 60 some odd per cent. They did not need to do this, as mentioned there is several billion $ sitting in a state account waiting for the "rainy day" when it is needed. Why not use about $100 million of that money to continue to provide health services to those Texas women who need it?

The Texas GOP decided they didn't need those health services, just like the Texas GOP decided they would rather attempt to weaken Planned Parenthood by enacting the bill that excluded them as a health services provider at the suffering of those women who depend on the program in question.

It is the Texas GOP who set in motion the barriers to accessible health care for these unfortunate women, and the Texas GOP deserves the criticism it is receiving.

bnuckols
bnuckols

I have worked in doctor's offices that billed the Family Planning and Well Woman, I have done the exams and screening. Title X funding and Medicaid aren't great payment for what we family doctors do, but they're better than nothing. Look for a Medicaid participating doctor in your town, ask him or her.

bnuckols
bnuckols

 The Legislature also cut graduate medical training and other spending across the board - except for education.. There is not enough money in the Rainy Day fund for all the programs, but some was used for education. The rest is banked for the "Rainy Day" when and if the State can't pay some debt.

Edward
Edward

So there's no list - each woman has to start knocking on doors to find a provider to replace the one she's been perfectly happy with for the past so many years?

Can people imagine what the case would be if MEN had to start begging for their medical care? I don't think we would be in the same situation, that's for sure.

So where's the list? Who is the "we" that has made that list? Supposedly there are thousands. Maybe there's just too many to count?

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