Brenda found several lumps in her breast in 2012. Every time she tried to get an appointment at a family planning clinic, she was told there were no available slots. The $50 fee was beyond her budget even if she could get one. She is now waiting to see if the lumps will go away on their own.
Fatima is on a very limited income and, until recently, relied on free contraception from her local family planning clinic. Once the funding ran out, she could not afford both contraception and food for her two children. Without alternatives, she’s now expecting a third.
Ana was able to afford $35 for a Pap test two years ago. The results troubled her doctor enough that he asked her back from an ultrasound — at a price of $400. She still has not received the services she needs.
These are just three of the stories collected from consultations with nearly 200 women in the Lower Rio Grande Valley… In the past, satisfying basic living needs was already a formidable challenge for the many immigrants in the Valley. Family planning clinics offered the foundation of health care for many women — essential services they could turn to for affordable preventative care, contraception, information, counseling, and more.
In 2011, Texas legislators delivered a blow that will reverberate for years when they slashed family planning funds, effectively shuttering nearly 30 percent of the area’s family planning clinics. Those that remained had to reduce services and raise fees, and they still struggle to meet people’s needs.
Nuestro Texas: The fight for women’s reproductive rights in the Rio Grande Valley. Report by the Center for Reproductive Rights & the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
I picked up this report from an event with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative this evening. I’m going to post quotes from this over the next few days, because it is a horrifying report about what happens when politicians attack reproductive health care.