Numerous companies have expressed opposition to the Texas Heartbeat Act. Some have even talked about leaving Texas.
The reality is Texas has been good to them.
A lot of what’s being said is corporate “virtue signaling.”
But there’s true virtue in the fact that Texas helps hundreds of thousands of women each year with unplanned pregnancies.
Texas provides incredible services for women facing unplanned pregnancies. At the same time the Texas Legislature passed the Heartbeat Act, they also passed extensive measures to help women, especially low-income women, with unplanned pregnancies.
Alternatives to Abortion
The Legislature budgeted $100 million for the next two years for the highly successful Alternatives to Abortion program — a 25% increase. This program provides services to women with unplanned pregnancies with the goal that they can successfully carry the baby to term, give birth, and keep the baby or place the baby for adoption. Services are available for three years after birth. The principal contractor, Texas Pregnancy Care Network, runs a helpful website directing clients to nearly 200 sites across the state. The program will serve 150,000 women each year. That compares well to the 54,000 annual abortions that took place in Texas before the passage of SB 8.1
In addition, hundreds more privately funded organizations offer similar services. These women’s assistance centers are located in urban areas as well as rural areas.
Services can be as simple as pregnancy confirmation, counseling, and moral support. More extensive services are offered to free women from sex trafficking, domestic violence, or substance abuse. There are maternity and baby clothes and diapers available to mothers in need. Life skills like budgeting, parenting, pregnancy classes, and job skills are also available, and referrals to other government agencies when necessary.
Medicaid Perinatal and Childbirth Care
For a pregnant woman up to 200% of the federal poverty level without insurance, the state’s Medicaid program pays prenatal care, childbirth, and follow-up care for the mother for six months and the child for 12 months.2
The Texas Medicaid program pays for more than half of the births in our state costing nearly $1.2 billion per year.3 The Child Health Insurance Program spends $135 million per year for perinatal care for unborn children.
Women’s Health Program
The Legislature continues to aggressively fund women’s health services, appropriating $352 million for various free services for low-income women. These services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, family planning, pregnancy testing, pelvic examinations, sexually transmitted infection services, mammograms, screening and treatment for cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The state’s HealthyTexasWomen.org website lists thousands of providers across the state.
The Bottom Line
Finally, let’s look at the bottom line. Texas has one of the very best environments for business in the nation. Here’s what the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has to say:
The Lone Star State leads the nation in job creation over the last 10 years and in population growth over the last 14. As the 9th largest economy among the nations of the world, Texas offers a business-friendly climate — with no corporate or personal income tax — along with a highly skilled workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure and predictable regulations.
Those are just some of the advantages that helped Texas win the 2020 Governor’s Cup for the most new and expanded corporate facility projects in the nation — for a record-breaking 9th year in a row. That’s also why Texas continually ranks as the best state for business by the nation’s top CEOs.
Despite what companies or individuals think about the Texas Heartbeat and other laws protecting unborn babies, the fact stands that Texas provides vast resources for women with unplanned pregnancies.
That’s why Texas is a great place to live, work, and conduct business.
1 Texas Health and Human Services, Induced Termination of Pregnancies, 2020 ITOP Statistics, https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/about-hhs/records-statistics/research-statistics/itop/2020/2020-itop-selected-characteristics.xlsx
2 “Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Extending Medicaid Coverage For New Texas Mothers,” Houston Public Media, June 17, 2021, https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/politics/2021/06/17/400901/gov-abbott-signs-bill-extending-medicaid-coverage-for-new-texas-mothers/
3 Kaiser Family Foundation, “Births Financed by Medicaid,” https://www.kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/births-financed-by-medicaid/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D