This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Need the Know: March 15, 2013: The family planning fight continues

In the two weeks since the sequester began and the effects are already being felt. One of the federal programs being cut is funding of family planning clinics — those serving primarily low-income and uninsured individuals. With $15 million in cuts slated to happen over the next year, things such as cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and reproductive health care services might suddenly be unavailable to more than 100,000 primarily low-income women across the country.

This week's host, Scott Simon. Photo: Will O’Leary

Texas has already been down this road. In 2011, the state legislature slashed the budget for family planning services by $73 million dollars for 2012 and 2013. The result? More than 50 family planning clinics across the state closed. Need to Know’s Mona Iskander traveled there last summer and filed this report. (Get updates on the Texas situation.)

Anchor Scott Simon interviews Pam Belluck, a health and science writer for The New York Times, who looks at what’s happening to these programs in other states.

And from “American Voices,” Judy Norsigian, one of the authors of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” provides an historical account of women’s health policy debates over the past 40 years.

Read this week’s transcript.

(This episode was originally broadcast on December 7, 2012)

What’s on this week:

The family planning fight

Republican lawmakers in Texas have cut the state’s family planning budget by two-thirds, forcing many clinics that focus on women’s health to close across the state. But Planned Parenthood and women’s health advocates are fighting back, and Texas is “talking” about restoring some money. Get updates on the state of the battle.

Interview: Pam Belluck

Health and science writer for The New York Times Pam Belluck sheds some light on how state family planning budgets are faring across the nation.

American Voices: “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

A look through the historical debate over women’s health issues with author Judy Norsigian.

Web exclusive: Interview with Emily Ramshaw

Editor of the Texas Tribune Emily Ramshaw explains how family planning in Texas was once seen by Republican lawmakers as a fiscally conservative program.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.