Friday, June 1, 2012

Video Series Offers In-Depth Look at Family Planning Cuts

The Texas Tribune’s three-part series, “Fertile Ground,” covers the roiling controversy over public funding for family planning programs.

The first video, Measuring the Effects of Texas Family Planning Cuts, shows how state funding for Texas’ family planning programs was slashed from $111 million to $37.9 million. The video follows a group of social scientists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Population Research Center as they determine the potential fallout the cuts will have on the state’s economy and women’s health.

The second video, Texas vs. Planned Parenthood, takes a look at the collateral damage that arose from the battle between the state of Texas and Planned Parenthood. As a result of state cuts and Texas’ refusal to accept federal funds if they must be offered to Planned Parenthood, health clinics across the state merged or shut down completely. The remaining clinics worry they may not be able to handle the sudden onslaught of new patients.

Video three, Should State Government Play Role in Family Planning?, details the history of family planning programs and the decision to fund them through government money. From Margaret Sanger and birth control, to President George H.W. Bush and Title X, to present-day debates over contraception coverage, the video illuminates how a once largely bipartisan issue became partisan.

UPDATE: The fourth video, The State of Abortion in Texas, looks at the root cause behind the funding battle for family planning: Abortion. The video chronicles Texas' history of enacting laws designed to limit abortions in Texas, including laws passed during the last legislative session that have many physicians worried about interference in the doctor-patient relationship.

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