Thank you to everyone who came out to our May General Meeting. Kelly Hart gave a thorough and riveting review of Planned Parenthood in Texas, the history, the fantastic work they do, the challenges they face now and in the future – details below. Also, our local candidates were presented with a WOW Dems endorsement ceremony. We hope you will consider supporting one or more of these great candidates.
Kelly Hart, Senior Director of Government Relations for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, updated our group about the current state of access to women’s healthcare in Texas. At present, there are 20 Planned Parenthood health centers throughout North Texas that provide services to women and men ranging from pap smears, birth control, testing for high blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, STD’s, mammograms, and other cancer screenings. Some also perform vasectomies, colposcopies, and abortions. In addition, Planned Parenthood provides sex education for young people with professional health educators that are trained to provide age-appropriate, medically accurate information. In Dallas, there is a Teen Theatre group that performs interactive theater on relevant topics important to adolescents. Kelly noted that the Texas Legislature first started cutting the budget for Planned Parenthood in 2011, and described how the subsequent cuts in funding and attacks have continued and increased dramatically. She also outlined how some areas in Texas have no access for health care services for uninsured women in need of financial support. Currently, there is a shortage of providers serving this uninsured population, in spite of repeated assurances from the Texas Legislature that they would provide agencies to perform these services. Planned Parenthood has been in Texas for 80 years and does not plan to leave. Anyone that is interested in getting more information or that would like to volunteer can contact www.ppgreatertx.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN.