It is hard to believe that Texas women are crossing the border into Mexico to get affordable reproductive health care. What some have called a ”war on women” has fallen hardest on the poor. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. We rank last in health care delivery. Still, lawmakers have cut the family planning budget from 111 million down to 37 million. Last year, four of the eight South Texas clinics offering abortion closed.
There are two reason why a man might be pro-life. One reason a man might be pro-life is that he might have a legitimate concern for infants. This man will probably also be against war and the death penalty, and will support public health care programs for poor women and children. A second reason a man might be pro-life is that he wants to control women. The idea of a woman having sex without being legally tied to a man may cause him to lose sleep thinking of ways to rein women back in.
What makes it hard to believe that the anti-choice movement in Texas has anything to do with concern for children is that we are also cutting neo-natal care, pap smears, breast exams, birth control and preventative health care. It is estimated that only 30% of doctors now take new medicaid patients, so it looks more like poor women and their children barely register on the public accounting sheet.
Prediction: The answer to this crisis will not come from the Democratic party. It will come from a furious conservative base that will no longer let demagogues speak for them. Helping people get control of their choices is a conservative value. We forget that Title X, which funds such health care programs as Planned Parenthood, began under Nixon. I am old enough to remember a Republican Party that did thrive on scapegoating the poor. I remember a Republican Party that would have laughed at last years crop of Presidential candidates of the stage. We forget that both Perry and Romney were pro-choice before their party was taken over.
I don’t know when, and it may not be from within what we are now calling the Republican Party, but count on it- the true conservatives will rise up to take back their movement from those who wage this war on women and the poor.