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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Wendy Davis’ Historic Filibuster — And Rick Perry

We finally have the proper tribute to Texas state senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), who temporarily prevented Republicans from passing a bill that would shutter nearly all the women’s health clinics in Texas.

The Taiwanese animators at NMAWorldEdition have put together an awesome summary of this week’s events, complete with an appearance by the ghost of former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Davis’ filibuster has brought attention to the war that Governor Rick Perry has been waging against women’s health for years:

Originally, the Texas Women’s Health Program came under Medicaid, serving more than 100,000 low-income women, with an annual cost of nearly $40 million — paid 90 percent by the federal government. When the Obama administration threatened to pull federal funding because the new rules violated a Medicaid provision ensuring that recipients must be free to choose their own health care providers, Republican governor Rick Perry told the president to keep his money. A new program, using state funds only and free of federal involvement, began on January 1 of this year.

What Perry did not explain, however, is that state lawmakers had already decimated the state’s family planning program in 2011 – forcing budget cuts of two-thirds that resulted in the closing of more than 50 clinics. All this in a state that already suffers a primary health care shortage of crisis proportions. Texas has only 70 active primary care physicians per 100,000 people, ranking it 47th among 50 states. Planned Parenthood and other such community clinics thus were filling a critical gap. Banning their participation in a state program only exacerbates the Texas physician shortage.

Davis also cast a spotlight on Rick Perry’s ridiculous demeanor and rhetoric, which became a national joke during the 2012 election. Here’s a little reminder of how he went from frontrunner to finishing behind Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in Iowa.

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