LUBBOCK, Texas — Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas said Tuesday it would expand their services to Lubbock by the end of the year but have not announced where and when it would open the facility. However, Lubbock lawmakers have been quick to oppose the move.
“Anybody that knows me and has followed me throughout my career knows that when it comes to life, I am non-negotiable,” said District 28 Senator Charles Perry.
Senator Perry has started a petition for Lubbock citizens to sign who are against Planned Parenthood in the city.
Approximately seven years ago, the two previous facilities closed due to a lack of funding, and Senator Perry said he had spent a large portion of his career to defund the facility.
“I think we took about 65 million out of their budget in Texas, so I’m proud of that accomplishment,” he said. “It’s my faith. It’s my belief. It’s a dangerous path when we have government-sponsored killing at any level, and that’s really what this is.”
With five new positions posted on Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’s website, the facility said they feel this location would “increase access to affordable healthcare services including breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV test, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, birth control including long-acting IUDs and implants, and safe, legal abortion services.”
However, in a community with a high number of teen pregnancies and a school district has taught abstinence, some feel Planned Parenthood is a necessary resource.
“We were told that abstinence-only is the only education that would be offered,” said Planned Parenthood advocate and Lubbock resident Isabelle Ramos. “It was a concern to me that as a woman, talking about why more people aren’t learning about contraception and family planning because those services can make a life difference and help families out of poverty.”
Ramos explained Planned Parenthood had helped mothers who feel they have no other choice and contemplated dangerous methods of abortion.
“I’m aware of young women who have attempted self-abortion and had very negative consequences—psychological and emotional—and I also know women who have attempted suicide to abort a fetus,” said Ramos.
Senator Perry said he feels the organization promotes a false narrative and said their same resources are available at medical facilities in Lubbock already.
“They advocate that they provide free birth control and women’s health resources, and we have supplemented that void that was perceived to be created, but it was not ever created,” said Senator Perry. “We have women’s health care in the budget, and we have expanded access to all of those providers.”
Although these services may be available, getting access to care—at an affordable rate—can be more difficult than initially perceived, according to Ramos.
“With a lot of other healthcare providers, there tends to be a lot of red tape, and there wasn’t a place where you could go where there was a safe place to talk about family planning matters,” said Ramos.