Friday, April 1, 2011

Family Planning Services the Focus of Drastic Cuts in Texas

As states across the country are dealing with the reality of decreased revenue, some tough decisions are being made in state legislatures and governors' offices concerning the budget and which programs are going to receive less funding in the next fiscal year. In Texas, one contentious area of spending that is set to be the target of significant cuts is family planning services.

The initial budget that was proposed and put before the politicians in Austin already removed more than $25 million from family planning; amendments that have been proposed since would add another $61 million to the cuts. All that would be remaining in the budget for family planning clinics would be the $38.5 million required by the federal government to keep that money in the state.

While money in the state budget cannot be allocated specifically for abortions, it can be given to organizations that provide abortions as one of their services. Republicans are using this fact as a rallying point to support the budget-slashing amendments, and instead want to see money spent on other services for children or crisis pregnancy centers.

Opponents of these cuts argue that family planning clinics work to prevent unplanned pregnancies from occurring and actually save the state of Texas millions of dollars every year. These clinics, most of which would have to close if all of the budget cuts are approved, offer preventative medical care, including screening for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.

What you think of the drastic cuts being proposed to family planning services, with the money reallocated to other services that are designated to benefit children? Is this a necessary step, or should our leaders being looking in other areas to save money?

Even in the emotional and personal issues that surround your family, there may be instances that an experienced attorney can be helpful. If you have any legal questions concerning your children or transitions that are occurring in your family, the attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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