Texas

Ted Cruz joins Tony Perkins for a Planned Parenthood Lie-A-Thon

Right-wing activists have always had a difficult relationship with the truth, especially when it comes to Planned Parenthood. The lies they have told about the women’s health organization have been disgraceful and even comical. They continued today as Ted Cruz, the former Solicitor General of Texas and a candidate for US Senate, spoke to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Today’s Issues about his state’s move to defund Planned Parenthood, which treats nearly half the patients in the state’s Women’s Health Program.

Under Medicaid’s rules, states cannot prohibit qualified health care providers from participating in the program, and Texas officials knew that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead the federal government to withdraw its funding for the program, representing 90 percent of the program’s total funding.

Unfortunately, 130,000 women will now lose access to health care because of Texas’ decision, and will lead to millions of dollars in new state spending due to the drastic cut to preventative health care.

But Texas went ahead and defunded Planned Parenthood, to the satisfaction of the Religious Right, and now are shocked—shocked!—that Medicaid is enforcing its longstanding rules.

Perkins claimed that “Planned Parenthood as a result of losing this funding was closing twelve of its abortion clinics.”

This is false.

In fact, none of the affected clinics provided abortion services. Planned Parenthood clinics that do offer abortions receive neither federal nor state funds and are therefore not impacted by the state’s decision.

Perkins and Cruz also attempted to hold Parent Parenthood and the Obama administration responsible for the deleterious impact on women’s health care by twisting and ignoring the facts throughout the interview. Perkins called it “blackmail” and blamed the administration for “cutting off funds to some of the most needy people in the state of Texas.” Cruz said that the Obama administration wants to send taxpayer dollars to “the abortion industry,” which he called “typical of the assault on our liberties that is proceeding relentlessly everyday under the Obama administration.”

They seem to find no fault at all in Texas’ unilateral and deliberate decision to break Medicaid’s rules and defund an organization that provided nearly half of the health services to low-income women under the state’s program.

Perkins: Let me get your first impressions, the Governor who you know well and the legislature whom you’ve worked with, they said, ‘We’re not going to be part of funding Planned Parenthood.’ They took the steps, that’s rightfully theirs, and so now I can’t explain it as anything other than blackmail from the Obama administration cutting off funds to some of the most needy people in the state of Texas.

Cruz: Tony you’re exactly right. The Obama administration has been the most radical administration this country has ever seen, he is the most radical president this country has ever seen. On this issue, his concern is quite simply political, it is ensuring that the money flow continues to Planned Parenthood and to the abortion industry, and he is willing to hold 130,000 low income Texas women hostage in order to make sure that Planned Parenthood makes their money. It’s cynical, it’s partisan and it’s wrong.



Perkins: I wonder if the timing here, it seems very suspect to me, but after Texas decided to stop this funding of Planned Parenthood, I think it was a week before last the story came out of Texas that Planned Parenthood as a result of losing this funding was closing about twelve of their abortion clinics in Texas. That was a story that was beginning to get traction around the country, giving other legislatures encouragement to take steps like Texas. Is this an effort to cut that off at the pass and try to say ‘hey, you better slow down or else we’re going to come after funding in other areas’?

Cruz: I think it was exactly that. The disturbing thing Tony is you and I and every American are involuntarily the largest funders of Planned Parenthood in this country because the federal government and the Obama administration is fighting tooth and nail to send millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood. You and I are both strongly pro-life, have been fighting to defend the right to life for many years, the idea that we are facing an administration that is so radical that they will do anything they can to defend and expand the taxpayer money to pay for Planned Parenthood and to fund the abortion industry, that is really dismaying and it is typical of the assault on our liberties that is proceeding relentlessly everyday under the Obama administration.

DOJ and Houston senator take a stand for voting rights, against ID law

The US Department of Justice has officially objected to the Texas voter ID law. State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston had urged such action.
PFAW Foundation

Tom DeLay, Out on Bail, Reunites with Abramoff buddy Ralph Reed at Faith and Freedom Rally

Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) is out on bail after he was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. DeLay was also subject to an investigation over his links to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, DeLay played a central role in the Abramoff scandal on the illegal use of Indian gambling money.

Another member of the Abramoff’s crooked scheme was Religious Right activist Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. Abramoff stealthily financed Reed’s anti-gambling organization in Alabama with money from casinos in Mississippi that were afraid of increased competition. Reed claimed he didn’t know it was gambling money, claims Abramoff laughed off as “ridiculous.” In a humiliating defeat, Reed lost his 2006 race to be the Republican nominee of Lt. Governor of Georgia, and in 2009 founded the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Does it come as a surprise to anyone that DeLay, while out on bail, will be speaking at a Faith Freedom Coalition rally in Texas?

Surely, DeLay and Reed are the best people to talk about the importance of America’s “time-honored values” and “sound public policy at every level of government.”

The only thing that could make DeLay and Reed’s Texas rally more perfect would be if Jack Abramoff himself made an appearance. Too bad he now works for the ethics watchdog United Republic.

Attend a Rally to Save the American Dream this Saturday!

Events have been organized in cities and state capitols across the nation to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Find the event or events nearest you.

Gift Promotes Donor's Values

Jill Fatzer is using her legacy to help PFAWo stand up for the rights of future generations of Americans.

Texas Textbooks: What happened, what it means, and what we can do about it

In Texas, a decades-long battle culminated in May with the adoption of social studies standards that give the far-right faction and its Religious Right advisors far too many victories in their efforts to replace history with ideology and turn public school classrooms into Heritage Foundation seminars.

People For, CREDO, Brave New Foundation Deliver Petitions Demanding Unbiased Textbooks

People For the American Way Foundation, CREDO, and Brave New Foundation today delivered over 131,000 petitions to the offices of McGraw-Hill in New York, urging the publisher to reject Texas’ right-wing curriculum standards and publish textbooks free of political ideology or bias.

Texas School Board Votes to Omit Labor Leader Dolores Huerta from Curriculum

The Texas State Board of Education voted to adopt new curriculum standards that use the state’s education system to push a conservative political agenda, including rejecting a proposal to restore labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta to the elementary school curriculum.

Texas Board of Education Rewrites History

In a vote last week, the Texas Board of Education approved a Social Studies curriculum rewritten to emphasize conservative ideology and whitewash topics that don’t align with board members’ beliefs.  The curriculum, which is due to receive final approval in May, was changed to emphasize the Board’s religious and political objectives by, for instance, adding flattering details about disgraced conservative Senator Joseph McCarthy, increasing focus on violent fringe members of the peaceful civil rights coalition, and even downplaying the importance of Thomas Jefferson du

Statement on Shooting at Fort Hood

Yesterday, 13 people were killed in a mass shooting at Fort Hood Army Post in Killeen, Texas. People For the American Way Foundation president Michael B. Keegan said, "Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victims of this horrific incident, their families and the entire Fort Hood community. Members of our armed forces already sacrifice so much to protect us, and it's doubly tragic for this kind of violence to arise in what should be a safe place.

Voting Rights Opponent Appeals to Supreme Court

As expected, the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One (NAMUDNO), a public utility district in Travis County, Tex., filed a direct appeal Sept. 8, 2008 with the Supreme Court from a unanimous federal district ruling that it is exempt from Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Patriot Pastors Electoral War Against the 'Hordes of Hell'

A new generation of Religious Right leaders is turning conservative churches into political machines for far-right Republican candidates with rhetoric that might make Pat Robertson blush. The new report by People For the American Way Foundation, NAACP, and the African American Ministers Leadership Council documents how high-level Republican officials in Ohio and elsewhere are embracing the self-proclaimed "Christocrats" and counting on a new wave of aggressive politics-from-the-pulpit to win elections.

Back to School with the Religious Right

The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.

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