By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
AUSTIN, Texas (Worthy News)-- Texas will soon become the largest state to defund Planned Parenthood after its Republican majority legislature recently passed Senate Bill 7, a health care bill that prevents the nation's largest abortion provider from receiving state family funds.
Authored by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, SB7 could save the state $400 million by increasing efficiency in health care delivery, but the bill also includes an amendment that explicitly prohibits the Texas Women's Health Program from using any state or federal funds to "perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions."
With the passage of SB7, Texas now joins Wisconsin and Indiana in attempting to defund Planned Parenthood from its state health programs
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign the bill by the end of the week, but if that happens, Sarah Wheat, the local interim CEO of Planned Parenthood, said the state will see its family planning centers closing, or reducing their hours this summer.
"Women's health hangs in the balance as a result of the complete gutting of women's health services," said Wheat, (the) bill will just make it harder for women to access Planned Parenthood, which is the oldest and largest provider of women's health care."
Perry's people, however, see the bill as another legislative step toward protecting the unborn.
"The governor continues to champion the protection of unborn life in Texas," said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed, "(by) recently signing House Bill 15, which requires a woman to have a sonogram before electing to have an abortion to ensure she is fully informed before making such an impactful decision."