Right-wing activists have always had a difficult relationship with the truth, especially when it comes to Planned Parenthood. The lies they have told about the women’s health organization have been disgraceful and even comical. They continued today as Ted Cruz, the former Solicitor General of Texas and a candidate for US Senate, spoke to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Today’s Issues about his state’s move to defund Planned Parenthood, which treats nearly half the patients in the state’s Women’s Health Program.
Under Medicaid’s rules, states cannot prohibit qualified health care providers from participating in the program, and Texas officials knew that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead the federal government to withdraw its funding for the program, representing 90 percent of the program’s total funding.
Unfortunately, 130,000 women will now lose access to health care because of Texas’ decision, and will lead to millions of dollars in new state spending due to the drastic cut to preventative health care.
But Texas went ahead and defunded Planned Parenthood, to the satisfaction of the Religious Right, and now are shocked—shocked!—that Medicaid is enforcing its longstanding rules.
Perkins claimed that “Planned Parenthood as a result of losing this funding was closing twelve of its abortion clinics.”
This is false.
In fact, none of the affected clinics provided abortion services. Planned Parenthood clinics that do offer abortions receive neither federal nor state funds and are therefore not impacted by the state’s decision.
Perkins and Cruz also attempted to hold Parent Parenthood and the Obama administration responsible for the deleterious impact on women’s health care by twisting and ignoring the facts throughout the interview. Perkins called it “blackmail” and blamed the administration for “cutting off funds to some of the most needy people in the state of Texas.” Cruz said that the Obama administration wants to send taxpayer dollars to “the abortion industry,” which he called “typical of the assault on our liberties that is proceeding relentlessly everyday under the Obama administration.”
They seem to find no fault at all in Texas’ unilateral and deliberate decision to break Medicaid’s rules and defund an organization that provided nearly half of the health services to low-income women under the state’s program.
Perkins: Let me get your first impressions, the Governor who you know well and the legislature whom you’ve worked with, they said, ‘We’re not going to be part of funding Planned Parenthood.’ They took the steps, that’s rightfully theirs, and so now I can’t explain it as anything other than blackmail from the Obama administration cutting off funds to some of the most needy people in the state of Texas.
Cruz: Tony you’re exactly right. The Obama administration has been the most radical administration this country has ever seen, he is the most radical president this country has ever seen. On this issue, his concern is quite simply political, it is ensuring that the money flow continues to Planned Parenthood and to the abortion industry, and he is willing to hold 130,000 low income Texas women hostage in order to make sure that Planned Parenthood makes their money. It’s cynical, it’s partisan and it’s wrong.
Perkins: I wonder if the timing here, it seems very suspect to me, but after Texas decided to stop this funding of Planned Parenthood, I think it was a week before last the story came out of Texas that Planned Parenthood as a result of losing this funding was closing about twelve of their abortion clinics in Texas. That was a story that was beginning to get traction around the country, giving other legislatures encouragement to take steps like Texas. Is this an effort to cut that off at the pass and try to say ‘hey, you better slow down or else we’re going to come after funding in other areas’?
Cruz: I think it was exactly that. The disturbing thing Tony is you and I and every American are involuntarily the largest funders of Planned Parenthood in this country because the federal government and the Obama administration is fighting tooth and nail to send millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood. You and I are both strongly pro-life, have been fighting to defend the right to life for many years, the idea that we are facing an administration that is so radical that they will do anything they can to defend and expand the taxpayer money to pay for Planned Parenthood and to fund the abortion industry, that is really dismaying and it is typical of the assault on our liberties that is proceeding relentlessly everyday under the Obama administration.