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Women of Texas and Facebook, I Salute You!

March 22, 2012

Rick Perry knows women – at least he knows what’s best for them and their (ahem) lady parts.  Ha ha! But seriously, folks, he has a long and disgusting history of  flagrant disregard for women’s health needs. Don’t just take my word for it, take it from Laura Chapin, the founder of TWERP (Texas Women Enraged by Rick Perry):

The numbers tell the tale. Texas is dead last in the number of non-elderly women without health insurance, and 6th nationally in the percentage of women in poverty, according to the Texas Legislative Study Group. One in five Texas children lack health insurance, the highest rate in the nation. And if that weren’t bad enough, Perry tried to opt out of Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the most vulnerable Texas populations, including pregnant women and children.

When it comes to reproductive healthcare, the state budget guts family planning, leaving 284,000 Texas women without birth control or access to basic reproductive healthcare. This will also likely increase the abortion rate, sonograms or no sonograms. And of course there’s the standard right wing assault on Planned Parenthood. Women needing prenatal care fare no better.

And for the coup de grâce? Hellbent on striking a blow to that most nefarious of organizations, Planned Parenthood, Perry has just cost the  state of Texas ALL Medicaid  funding for family planning services.

Despite having been warned of the ramifications by the Department of Health and Human Services, Perry nonetheless went ahead and implemented a law excluding Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

The program, which costs $40 million, provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and other health care services to 130,000 low-income women in the state every year. About half of the program’s providers in Texas are Planned Parenthood clinics. But some of those clinics provide abortions, which disqualifies the organization from participating in the program according to the terms of the new law. (Business Insider)

Well THAT, finally, was enough to generate some serious social media outrage.  On Monday, Texas women took to Rick Perry’s Facebook page to get some of that valuable medical advice they can no longer access in the state of Texas. (After all, if government knows best about the medical  needs of women, who better to go to with those delicate healthcare questions?)

The posts have, naturally, been taken down; and, in fact, new posts have been disabled. (Social media enables dialogue between citizens and the government which serves them! Wait…um…nevermind.) But too bad, Ricky! The internet is forever – as are these things called “screen shots.” A sampling, via Business Insider:

View more, here.

Update: I have a call into Perry’s office asking for an official answer on whether or not there is an official policy of what can and cannot be posted by visitors to the Governor’s Facebook page. (And whether that policy is posted anywhere.) I’m still waiting for an official response. However, one person I spoke to said it’s his page and he can choose the content. (She also muttered something about Facebook decency standards, or something?) At any rate, this does not yet qualify as an official statement – so I’ll continue to wait…….

But, just assuming this is the only response I receive (surely that won’t be the case!):  is it really the Governor’s position that constituents can post freely to his page, as long as they don’t disagree with , or (perish the thought) mock , his policies? Or, perhaps I should go with the mutterings? Should I then assume Perry’s official position is that real women asking questions about their reproductive health violates some sort of concept of decency? Hmmm…

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