At the Opening of a Houston Pregnancy Center, Rick Perry Pledges To Help "Make Abortion A Thing of the Past"

Rick Perry with Cross podium resized.jpg
Not actually the podium the governor used.

Governor Rick Perry, it may shock you to learn, is not such a big fan of abortion. Perry vowed some time ago to create a new, Texas-run version of the Women's Health Program, one that would ban doctors from discussing or "promoting" abortion with their patients. It would also explicitly bar Planned Parenthood from participating. PP is also now blocked from the mostly federally-funded, Medicaid-run WHP. The government program will end soon, with the proposed state program taking its place, costing Texas taxpayers $39,132,223 in 2013.

But what type of clinic is Rick Perry-approved to take over for Planned Parenthood? It might look a lot like The Source for Women - Spring Branch, a new medical clinic in Houston that had its ribbon-cutting ceremony this week, and where Perry was a keynote speaker . The governor sang the praises of the clinic, which will offer every medical service a women needs, provided that she's healthy, doesn't need birth control, doesn't want to talk about abortion, and along with her pap smear, is prepared for a significant amount of encouragement to "know Jesus, the giver of all life."

The Source for Women has been around the Houston area for some 30 years. Unlike Spring Branch, its other two locations are garden-variety crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

CPCs, which are not medical clinics, offer store-bought pregnancy tests and faith-based, sometimes medically questionable, counseling that's designed to encourage women not to abort. They're found throughout Texas, including in the Dallas area; $8 million of the money taken from family planning services in Texas' last legislative session went to fund CPCs. In an audit last year, the Texas Pregnancy Care Network, which oversees the centers, found numerous violations, including billing errors, violations of client privacy, fire safety, and in 15 percent of cases, a failure to properly label religious versus educational materials. In 2010, TPCN had to retrain Source staff after they sought reimbursement for 56 ineligible clients.

In some ways, the Spring Branch location seems encouraging, in that there will be actual doctors on-site and actual medical services offered, including Well Woman exams, breast exams, and STD counseling, albeit with what looks like a heavy emphasis on abstinence. After a baby is born, additional counseling services are offered through the child's first birthday. They don't currently offer birth control (CPCs don't ever offer it, as many Christian groups believe that it's equivalent to having an abortion), but Source CEO Cynthia Wenz told us it may be possible some day.

"We're not offering birth control now. However, I know you guys are a liberal media," she said. "I know you'll do liberal reporting. We'll just call it what it is. I'm not blind to know what's in demand to our clients." She added that the Source board has agreed to "allow me to research and develop our services list" to possibly include birth control. For anything other than basic Well Woman exams, she said the center can refer women elsewhere. Wenz has had three abortions, she told us, at the ages of 15, 19, and 29. In her last procedure, in which she was pregnant with twins, one fetus survived. Her son, Roman, is now 16.

Perry used the Spring Branch ribbon-cutting to reaffirm his distaste for abortion, telling the audience, "We've banned the use of your tax dollars for abortion procedures in Texas, and expanded that ban to include those affiliated with abortion providers in the case of our Women's Health Program. That upset more than a few people in Washington, who insisted we financially support organizations like Planned Parenthood by including them in the WHP." (In fact, Texas was "financially supporting" the WHP to the tune of $1 for every $9 the federal government provided.)

"We've stood strong in the face of that assault, and proclaimed the truth that protecting the rights of abortion providers and protecting women's health are not the same thing," Perry continued. "The Source for Women clinics, in fact, will be part of Texas' own Women's Health Program, and Planned Parenthood will not be."

Perry told the crowd that "your good work doesn't end with the women you help, and the children you save. Instead, it becomes part of the movement to make abortion a thing of the past, a movement that grows stronger with each success story you produce, with the promise of every child born who would've died without your assistance.

"Places like The Source for Women are cornerstones in the creation of a world without abortion, a place where each child is born healthy, happy, and as part of a loving family."

The Source tries to ensure that those children are born, anyway. For all the other stuff, we're sure they can refer you somewhere else.


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87 comments
deep-sigh
deep-sigh

I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire where a character was trying to start clinics that helped counsel women on family and their bodies...um, that was 1923.  Gee, women's health and personal decisions about their vagina have some so far....egads.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Bottom line:  Women, get out of the wagon.

 

Since the 1960s, half this country has demanded social services beyond a base net while the other half refused to pay for it.  Yet in 2011, payments to individuals were 65 percent of federal spending, up from 26 percent in 1960.  How did we pay for it?

 

We borrowed it.  This way, both halves are satisfied.  It was painless.  Our vaunted statesmen bought votes with debt. 

 

Unfortunately, after 50 years of constantly adding to the Public Debt we hit the wall.  And today, we have created a reality that isn’t going to just go away.  In fact, just the cost of current operations to fund services, including merely paying the interest on the debt we owe, is causing use to borrow at ever faster rates and sums so large it shocks the consciousness.  We spend a trillion more than we collect each year.  And that is a number a finite being cannot comprehend.

 

And we owe $16 trillion we recognize and another $100 trillion we don’t.

 

“Actually, the share of people who receive federal benefits exceeds Romney's 47 percent. Based on its Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Census Bureau estimates that in mid-2011 -- the latest available figures -- the number of people with benefits came to 149.8 million, or 49 percent of the population. But this figure is too low, because SIPP doesn't include several major programs (farm subsidies and college loans and grants). With these, the total probably exceeds 50 percent.” America's Growing Welfare State Is a Problem By Robert Samuelson - September 20, 2012.

 

It wasn’t a gaffe.

 

It was the truth.

 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Merlan wasted a lot of words to say "I want the state to pay for abortions".  Well, the state is us and we are saying no.  And it is overwhelming.  We could do it by voice vote.

 

Don't believe in abortion? Don't have one. Want an abortion?  Get two.  Who cares?

 

and bash the governor while you are at it but under no circumstances should the taxpayer fund them.  

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I've got a better idea: let's all help make Rick Perry a thing of the past.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

CPC = ???

 

Umm ... Li'l Ricky, tax dollars by law cannot be used for abortions ... Just thought you might want to know ...

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Let me get this straight.  Planned Parenthood doesn't 'qualify' to receive State disbursements of Federal Funding because it enlightens these women on ALL the options available to them, and can refer these women to a licensed and regulated safe clinic if the woman chooses to have an abortion.  Source clinics do NOT enumerate all of a woman's medical options (not illegal, but obviously a conflict with the Hippocratic Oath), and, as a bonus, will use your tax dollars to provide religious materials and religious exposure the woman neither need (religion is not a medical procedure), nor, in many cases want (clearly a violation of the 1st Amendment).

 

Do I have that right?  Because it seems to me we're getting rid of an organization that went through hoops dividing and configuring itself to be legally able to receive Federal funds for the WHP, and picking up an organization that, frankly, says "F*** YOU!" to the Constitution.  Right?  Welcome to the Independent Theocracy of Texas!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

It's pretty funny to read that the goal of these people who were interviewed is a "world without abortion" and with "abortion being a thing of the past", yet they refuse to provide contraception to the female clients.

 

Only a fool would believe that telling people to not have sex is going to be very effective in stopping unplanned/unwanted pregnancies. History says that it won't.

 

Apparently these people are indeed fools...

 

Second, our Governor and his cronies apparently believe that a poor women who is in need of health care and do not have the resources to pay should be subjected to religious proselytizing in order to receive the health care services. This is very disturbing.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Jesus! pay for your own damn abortion.  It's elective.  Tell the other half he needs to cough it up before the taxpayer does.  Otherwise he gets to be harassed by the state for 18 years.

 

We're all taxed out.  

 

 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

When did Rick Perry become a Supreme Court Justice?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx Those policies save more money than they cost.  Again, your blinded by your ideological myopia.  People who don't just shit all over everything know this.  But you follow selfish dimwitted blowhards.  And, you've become one of them

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@holmantx - It appears we may be running out of other People's money a bit faster than we had anticipated.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @holmantx

 

It is not "the truth", it's a distortion.

 

The stat cited includes people who are receiving $ from programs they have paid money into over their work history.

 

These recipients are getting their invested dollars back.

 

to include these americans in the stats is not only deceitful, it's dishonest.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

 @holmantx Great! Because the taxpayer doesn't fund them. No matter what certain magnificently-haired elected officials may imply. 

 

Seriously, where does that idea come from? Medicaid funding for abortions is only (rarely) available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. The idea that you're shelling out money every time a woman has an abortion is actually and factually incorrect. Yet people keep saying it to me as though it's true. Mainly politicians, during interviews.

 

Fucking mystifying. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @Montemalone That's right ... If you are not sure, then vote for the dead armadillo ...

 

Come to think of it voting for Not Sure may be a good thing ... 'cause you know Brawndo has electrolytes which plants crave ...

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @RTGolden1 Having the government pay for an individual's health care at all is already a giant Fuck You to the constitution.

lolotehe
lolotehe

 @mavdog It's the old missionary model: if you accept the Jesus, you can have some food.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

 @mavdog 

And here you outline the glaring, fundamental logical disconnect that pervades Texas, starting at the level of sex ed classes in school.

 

One would think that people who want to eliminate abortion would realize that the best way is to prevent pregnancy in the first place.  Telling kids how pregnancy happens, as well as educating them in methods to prevent that pregnancy, is the best way to eliminate unwanted pregnancy.  But no, we have just shriek from the rooftops "DON'T HAVE SEX EVAAARRRRRRRR" and hope they listen.

 

I think we all know how well teenagers listen.

 

Furthermore, we completely forget what happens at age 18.  Do we think that knowledge springs fully formed into the mind as soon as people hit that age?  By not teaching sex ed at an early age, we're condemning our kids to a lifetime of ignorance regarding their bodies.  Unwanted pregnancies don't go away simply because teenagers grow up. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx The state doesn't pay for abortions.  Again, you missed the point entirely.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @scottindallas  @holmantx Oh yes.  Love will find a way, right?  

 

It is fucked up logic like that which has delivered us all into the abyss.

 

Breathing air is not an angle on how to live.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @mavdog if it were an investment you could pass it on to your heirs.  It is you who is being disingenuous.  I've grown weary of those who argue both ways, depending upon which court you are in (public opinion or the Supreme Court).

 

Besides, the entitlements are hopelessly unfunded and you know it.  

 

Bottom line - the party is over.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @Anna_Merlan Why would any Republican want to talk to a Democrat with a byline? 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @Anna_Merlan see?  We agree.  Now all you have to do is understand the concept that resources are finite and the public net should be means-tested and restricted SOLELY to the elderly, minors, and the afflicted (mentally and physically).  All able-bodied Americans of working age - get out of the wagon.

 

First order of business - stop spending more money than we collect in taxation.

 

First and second order of business - start paying back this mountain of debt so high it darkens the skies we/ve racked up to pay for every goofy thing under the Sun.  

 

Get this through your head - we're done.  Now the fun part starts.  

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @Anna_Merlan  @holmantx

 

oh no, it's not mystifying.

 

it is a statement to the stupidity of some people.

 

to paraphrase a quote, "I'm never ceased to be amazed at the level of stupidity exhibited by people who choose not to be informed"

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps You're not getting that rabbit back into the hat. We have a welfare system. Period. End of story.  Our job now is to manage it in the most effective way possible.  You're not even responding to issue I address in my comment, but rather, re-directing with a reference to another, more broadly encompassing issue.  

There is some debate as to whether or not the 'social safety net' (welfare, medicare/caid, etc) is Constitutional or even a good idea.  There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that an entity that receives taxpayer dollars as part of its operational budget CANNOT push one set of religiously based moral values over all, or any, others.  As you yourself stated in a comment just yesterday, this is tantamount to the State of Texas establishing a 'State Religion'.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @everlastingphelps  Having the government tell a woman what she can or can't do with her body based on someone else's religious beliefs isn't a giant "fuck you" to the Constitution?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

really, a "fuck you to the constitution"?

 

please show us all where the US Constitution prohibits the government from providing health care.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @Double-O-Joe  @mavdog We can't have little Ashton and Emily exposed to pictures of penises and vaginas, nor even allow them to utter the words. Babyjeebus will fall off the cross and die if that happens.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx  @mavdog You're the ideological crack head, let's raise the top marginal tax rates, and raise capital gains to be treated the same as income taxes.  Or, are you one of those who like to argue about the deficit but then oppose taxes

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @mavdog it's fallen; otherwise my argument would receive no traction.

 

Right now I would be satisfied with staving off a nuclear winter.

 

There is no indicator out there that will prevent what is already in motion.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @mavdog what kind of moron does not understand you snorted all the cocaine and the party's over?

 

What do you want to do?  Borrow 'til the Red Chinese cut us off?

 

Europe lies in a smoking heap?

 

Hard times brings on charismatics promising a cure.  Europe had two world wars last century over such upheaval.  

 

You sound like Wall Street and QE3.  "Jeez Lod God gimmee that heroin one more time.  I promise to never ask for another bail-out!".

 

time for an intervention before you smoke us all.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @holmantx

 yeah holman, who cares if these people paid money into a program? holman says screw them, after all since they can't "pass it on to [their] heirs" they should never have expected for the government to keep its part of the agreement.

 

my god, you just get more and more idiotic by the post.

 

if the entitlements are "unfunded" (actually they are underfunded...), we need to find a way to restructure them and make them solvent.

 

honourable people do not take people's money and then turn around and screw those people by not keeping their end of the agreement.

 

what kind of person are you?

 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx  @RTGolden1  @Anna_Merlan women's health programs don't cost money.  They are cost neutral, as here an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  And, where is your call for higher tax rates?   Am I the only responsible voice on here?   You shrink from my simple challenges, like a sophist running from Diogenes lamp

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @RTGolden1  @Anna_Merlan Again.

 

We're worse than busted.  If we were going to pay for such a monumental gash of social services to take  Julia from cradle to grave and be proud of it, we would have had to start collecting it in taxation around 1972.  But we didn't.  We borrowed it.  Now economic activity has slugged down and remains down because the mountain of debt in front of us.

 

All because we decided to tax wealth and income yet to be created (debt), so it won't be (created).  It is a usurpation of the Law of Self Interest and the unintended consequences are manifesting all up and down the governmental levels.  It has all come to a screeching halt.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @holmantx  @Anna_Merlan "...and restricted SOLELY to the elderly, minors, and the afflicted (mentally and physically)...."

 

Going to be whole lot more of those minors, once we do away with family planning services and reproductive health services for the poor.

 

Again, Perry's plan doesn't save TX taxpayers a dime, it hands them a 90% higher tax bill by rejecting the conditions of Federal funding.  So, all those deadbeat dads who wont pay for the abortions you think you're paying for?  Yeah, now you'll be paying to support their fatherless kids.  

 

Oh, and, in case you missed it, this frees up the TX allotment of federal funding in WHP to go to other states who haven't had a political seizure.  So you get to "pay for abortions (your assertion, not mine)" in other states AND pay for the children of deadbeats at home.  Who knew holman was such a humanitarian?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @Montemalone I think you're getting confused there Phelps.  The national defense is addressed in Article I, section 8, but it is not synonymous with the general welfare.  In any case, with the burgeoning costs of welfare benefits to poor, single mothers, this would definitely be considered a national concern under both Justice Story's 1833 Commentaries and the subsequent decision by the Supreme Court in Butler and following cases granting Congress ever more discretion in spending, with less and less judicial review.

 

It may not be right, and we may not like it, but it is the way it is.  The correct approach to fixing Congress' disregard for "original intent" in the Constitution is to enact stricter spending laws, increase judicial review over congressional spending, and provide for greater regulation of professional and utility markets.  The wrong path would be to have a governor decide, unilaterally, to turn the 1st Amendment on its head and ram his chosen religion down our throats.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

phelps, do you just pull this crap out of your ass?

 

There were different opinions of our founding fathers on what the phrase "general welfare" means, and if it grants any additional power to Congress.

 

However, your assertion isn't even close to any of these concepts as laid out by Jefferson, Madison or Hamilton.

 

Multiple supreme court opinions have been given on what the phrase means, if it allows Congress any additional powers or merely supports the stated powers.

 

What is accurate is the phrase as determined by jurists is that Congress can provide appropriations that aid the American public as a whole.

 

As for the statement "Elective Abortions in no way make my life better", that's not at all a relevant point as NO government money is given to provide elective abortions.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist  @Montemalone  @RTGolden1 Yup, meaning "an effective and powerful militia."  Just like a well regulated engine.

 

If you want to get into what that meant at the time, it also covered explosives stockpiles and crew served weapons.  Start heading down that rabbit hole and you'll end up arguing for me getting machine guns and C-4.

observist
observist

 @everlastingphelps  @Montemalone  @RTGolden1 Also, "a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" was a specific term at the time meaning people should have semi-automatic handguns concealed on their person at all times.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Montemalone  @RTGolden1 Which is the opposite of individual welfare.

 

General welfare was a specific term at the time meaning things that you get value from whether you paid in on it or not, like national defense.  (You're protected whether you "use" it or not.) Elective Abortions in no way make my life better.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @everlastingphelps Yes, it's a reasonable argument, but the interpretation of "fetus" typically seems to be based more on religious definitions than biological definitions. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Scruffygeist It's a reasonable argument to say that they aren't concerned with the mother's body, they are trying to prevent assault against the fetus.

 

I don't know that I agree with that, and I don't think throwing people in jail is productive at this point, but constitutionally I think that is supportable.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

funny, the Constitution that I've read doesn't prohibit the government from providing for heath care in Article 1, section 8 and 9. You must have a different US Consitution than they rest of us...

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