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Gov Rick Perry’s Abysmal Record On Women’s Health

If you’re a woman from Texas—or indeed, any  woman—there’s a lot to dislike about Gov. Rick Perry.

The vanity.  The boorishness.  The belief you’re too  stupid to make your own medical decisions. The weird resemblance to Animal House’s Niedermeyer in his college  photo.

Perry reminds me of the scene in Thelma and Louise in which  Thelma (Geena Davis) says of her  n’er-do-well husband, “He kind of  prides himself on being infantile.” Louise (Susan  Sarandon) responds,  “He’s got a lot to be proud of.”

So as we all prepare for the media barrage surrounding  Perry’s  presidential announcement on Saturday, and in tradition of my idol   Molly Ivins, I’m going to start a new group, Texas Women Enraged by Rick  Perry—TWERP for short.

As TWERP’s organizer, I feel  obliged to point out that on a  practical level, Rick Perry has made it pretty  lousy for women in  Texas, especially for women at the bottom of the economic  ladder. He’s  also made it pretty lousy for anybody who doesn’t look like him.  As  Eileen Smith wrote  in the Texas Observer, “In  just one session, Republicans managed to  screw children, women, gays,  immigrants, teachers, the elderly,  Hispanics, the unemployed and the uninsured.  The only people who got off easy were white guys. Can’t imagine why.”

The numbers tell the tale. Texas is dead last in the number  of  non-elderly women without health insurance, and 6th nationally in  the  percentage of women in poverty, according to the Texas  Legislative Study Group.  One in  five Texas children lack health insurance, the highest rate in  the nation. And  if that weren’t bad enough, Perry tried to opt out of  Medicaid, which provides  healthcare to the most vulnerable Texas populations, including pregnant women  and children.

When it comes to reproductive healthcare, the state budget guts  family planning, leaving 284,000 Texas women without birth control or access  to basic reproductive healthcare. This will also likely increase the abortion  rate, sonograms or no sonograms. And of course there’s the standard right wing assault on  Planned Parenthood. Women needing prenatal care fare no better.

As reported in the Texas  Tribune, “Texas has the worst rate  of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in the  first trimester,  according to the report commissioned by the Legislative Study  Group…And  though Texas has the highest percent of its population without  health  insurance, the state is 49th in per capita spending on Medicaid, and   dead last in per capita spending on mental health, according to the   report.”

So if you’re a working class Texas woman, Rick Perry doesn’t  want  you to have access to birth control or reproductive healthcare to  prevent  unintended pregnancy, but once you’re pregnant the state  mandates a sonogram  and a lecture to convince you of the error of your  ways. After that sonogram  and lecture, if you need prenatal care,  you’re SOL. And once the baby is born,  Texas is 47th in monthly benefit payments under the Women, Infants, & Children program, which  provides nutrition assistance.

This is Rick Perry’s vision for women in the United States. Limited  healthcare, little birth control, low  income women and kids left to  fend for themselves, a bunch of bureaucrats  telling you what to do—and  the very real human suffering that goes along with  it. TWERP might be  an understatement.

By: Laura Chapin, U. S. News and World Report, August 11, 2011

August 12, 2011 - Posted by | Abortion, Class Warfare, Conservatives, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Governors, Health Care, Human Rights, Ideologues, Ideology, Immigrants, Income Gap, Lawmakers, Media, Medicaid, Middle Class, Planned Parenthood, Politics, Press, Pro-Choice, Racism, Republicans, Right Wing, States, Teaparty, Unemployed, Uninsured, Voters, Women, Women's Health, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] is 47th in monthly benefit payments under the Women, Infants, & Children program, which provides nutrition […]

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    Pingback by Rick Perry’s Women’s Track Record…… « kavips | August 19, 2011 | Reply


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