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Low-Income Women Had More Babies After Texas Cut Funding To Planned Parenthood

Jacob Villanueva
Texas Tribune
The study attributes the increase in births to inaccessibility to affordable and effective contraception and thus a reduction in use.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Alamo Drafthouse is open for business; Ethan Couch was moved to adult jail; Amazon doesn’t intimidate Half Price Books; and more.

Texas’ funding cuts to and statewide exclusion of family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood has contributed to an increase in births among low-income women, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study attributes the spike to inaccessibility to affordable and effective contraception and thus a reduction in use.


The Los Angeles Times reported: “The researchers calculated that the relative increase in births was 27 percent for women who lost access to Planned Parenthood. Many of these births were probably unplanned, since the increase was only seen in counties where women faced new hurdles in access to contraception, the study authors wrote.”


In 2013, Texas excluded Planned Parenthood from the state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program, which overrode the federally funded Medicaid program that financially secured Planned Parenthood, The Los Angeles Times reported. Two years earlier, Texas lawmakers cut family-planning grants by 66 percent across the state and consequently closed 82 clinics.


The study doesn't prove Texas policy is directly responsible, the study noted. "But after making it more difficult for women to get safe, reliable birth control, women switched to less reliable contraceptive methods, or skipped them altogether. The result is dozens of additional babies born to some of the thousands of women who had been served by the shuttered clinics.”

Read more. [Los Angeles Times]



  • Dallas’ Alamo Drafthouse will open with a soft launch today through March 8. The newest location of the Austin-based theater chain will be in The Cedars, making it the first theater in Central Dallas in 16 years. With a second North Texas theater joining the Richardson Drafthouse three years later, programmers look forward to distinguishing different personalities between the two movie houses, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. More info from the Star-Telegram:

Alamo Drafthouse, 1005 S. Lamar

Feb. 8-11: 50 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages

Feb. 12-14: 30 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages

Feb. 15-21: 15 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages

Feb. 22-March 8: Free order of cookies per party

  • Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores doesn’t scare Dallas-based company, Half Price Books. Amazon has only opened one store in Seattle thus far, but HPB executive Kathy Doyle Thomas told The Dallas Morning News that Amazon might realize it’s harder to maintain than warehouse. “I’m excited that they see what we believe that the printed word isn’t dead,” Thomas said. “We’ve known for 44 years that people like to browse and shop bookstores.” Half Price Books is the third largest chain bookstore in the U.S. with 126 stores in 16 states and sales of $260 million last year, according to The Morning News. Read about Amazon’s potential store openings. [Dallas Morning News]
  • Ethan Couch, the infamous “affluenza teen,” was transferred from juvenile detention to adult jail Friday. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “The judge is expected to hear arguments on Feb. 19 to move Couch’s case from juvenile court to adult court, where prosecutors said he would face harsh punishments if he violated his probation again.” Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said Fort Worth PD are aware of negative comments on social media that concern adult inmates harming the high-profile teenager from Fort Worth, and they are committed to protecting him. Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]


  • A Port Arthur police officer’s revolution the traffic ticketing system made the streets safer, but put low-income residents in financial danger. In 2007 Officer Rickey Antoine of the Gulf Coast city’s police department began to write traffic tickets as a full time job. With that sole responsibility and new license plate-scanning technology detecting offenders of prior infractions, the police department’s revenue soared “from $750,000 in 2006 up to as high as $2.1 million in 2012 before settling, most recently, at $1.5 million,” Buzzfeed reported. “But people who cannot afford to pay their fines — which can run to a thousand dollars or more — often wind up behind bars, leading to a great disparity in the consequences of traffic tickets on people’s lives.” Read more. [Buzzfeed]