Time is ticking for women's health care in Texas - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Time is ticking for women's health care in Texas

Amarillo, TX - Time is ticking, the state and federal government have one week to reach an agreement over the women's health care program in Texas.

More than 100,000 women across the state could be stripped of birth control, cancer screenings and basic health care.

"Poor women are the pawns in what is, really this standstill, is what it amounts to," West Texas A&M professor Claudia Stravato said.

The Texas legislature and federal government are currently in a funding fight over women's health care. The Texas legislature does not want to include abortion providers for basic care funding because some of its branches offer abortions, but the federal government does not think that is right.

If an agreement is not reached, there could be big consequences.

"Throughout the state of Texas there are, at least, about 150,000 women who receive care from the women's health program." Haven Health Clinic CEO, Ron Barwick, said. "In the panhandle area alone we, at this clinic, see 6,000 women a year."

Right now, a solution to the problem does not seem very likely.

"I don't think that the federal government is going to back off and I don't think he's going to back off and who's going to be hurt are the poor women in Texas." Stravato said.

However, there are a few things that could save the program.

"The number one thing is the federal government could relent and say, okay, you can exclude abortion providers," Barwick said. "The second is the state could relent and say, okay, we're going to continue the program without the exclusion of abortion providers."

Local health care clinics want the public to know the problem is much bigger than some may realize.

"It is really important for people to understand that this is not a question about abortion," Barwick said. "This is a question about them getting the health care that they need because they can't afford it otherwise."

If you would like to help, local health clinics suggest contacting Texas state legislators.

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