People that showed up for the statewide Planned Parenthood bus tour that rolled through Lubbock Friday said they feel offended, brokenhearted and confused. They were reacting to Governor Rick Perry notifying President Obama that Planned Parenthood will not be allowed to receive funds from what's called the Medicaid Women's Health Program.
"It really upsets me that women's healthcare is being politicized," Thoa Ho, a former Planned Parenthood patient said. "When I wasn't able to afford to go somewhere else, Planned Parenthood was a place I knew I could go and get basic women's healthcare services."
The Women's Health Program provides services for women who can't afford a private doctor.
"It provides pap smears, breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams and birth control to prevent unintended pregnancies," Tony Thornton, Lubbock Planned Parenthood President said.
Thornton said the program serves 130,000 Texas women statewide.
"In Lubbock we served 2,200 of these women in our clinic alone. That is 44 percent. Planned Parenthood served 44 percent of the women in Texas through this program," Thornton said.
The federal government won't let the state prohibit some providers like Planned Parenthood.
That means $35 million in funding is at stake.
The federal government pays $9 for every $1 the state spends. Thornton said losing those federal dollars would be devastating.
"Without this program women will not have access to birth control. They will get pregnant. Our unintended pregnancy rate will increase dramatically. If you don't think that's going to affect abortion rates you're wrong," Thornton said.
State Senator Wendy Davis was in Lubbock for the bus tour. She said the issue hits close to home.
"When I was a young woman the only health care I received as a young, single mom was from my Planned Parenthood clinic in Ft. Worth. It was the only place for years I was able to go for uterine, cancer screenings, as well as mammograms and contraception," Davis said. "I think we need to rally the troops. I think mama bears across Texas need to get mad. They need to make sure that Governor Perry knows they're mad."
Governor Perry said the state will provide these services even without federal money.
"We'll find the money. The state is committed to this program," Governor Perry said. "The idea there's not going to be plenty of providers out there is another red herring."
The Governor said questions about a new funding source will be cleared up soon.
Attorney General Gregg Abbott is confident about that.
"We are in the current planning stages to gear up for another lawsuit against the federal government for what we believe here to be a denial to Texas of the funding it deserves, and that the Federal government is inappropriately, illegally withholding from the state of Texas," Abbott said.
A state ban on funding Planned Parenthood clinics and other affiliates of abortion providers takes effect March 14.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the state's waiver will not be extended.
Sebelius said federal money will be phased out between May and September to give Texas women a chance to find alternate care.