By Micaiah Bilger
The Biden administration just thwarted Texas lawmakers’ efforts to increase women’s healthcare and reduce maternal mortality in a move that pro-life Republicans blasted as “partisan politics.”
The Texas Tribune reports Joe Biden’s administration rejected an application from Texas to expand Medicaid coverage to new mothers this week without giving a reason.
“This is the latest hypocritical, disappointing move by the Biden administration that puts the care and needs of Texas mothers and babies at jeopardy — all in the name of partisan politics,” House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, responded in a statement on Twitter.
In recent months, pro-abortion Democrats have accused pro-life states like Texas of not doing enough to support mothers and babies or reduce maternal mortality. But pro-life Texans have been working to expand support services for pregnant and parenting mothers as well as enacting legal protections for unborn babies, and one of the ways was through legislation that passed last year to expand Medicaid.
According to the Tribune, the Texas bill asked the Biden administration to expand Medicaid funds to mothers for six months after their babies are born; currently, Medicaid in Texas provides funding for the first two months.
This week, Texas leaders learned that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected their application; however, the agency did not explain why.
Some believe the reason is Texas’s pro-life stance on abortion. Its request to expand Medicaid prohibits funding for abortions, according to the report.
Gov. Greg Abbott criticized the Biden administration for putting party politics ahead of women’s healthcare in a statement Thursday.
“The Biden Administration is risking robbing mothers of services that Texas specifically extended for them post-partum,” Abbott said. “It risks the lives and health of Texas women and their babies all for the sake of a political agenda. Last session, I worked with the legislature to pass into law bipartisan legislation to extend Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum and also provide $345 million for women’s health programs.”
Abbott, a pro-life Republican, hinted that Texas may challenge the decision in court. He urged Biden to reverse the “unconscionable move, or get ready for a fight.”
According to the Tribune, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee recommended the Medicaid expansion as a top priority to protect women’s lives.
Texas Right to Life encouraged women to visit TexasPregnancy.org to find free pregnancy support in their local communities.
Responding to the Biden administration’s action, the organization said Friday: “This blatantly political and partisan move will only have the effect of hurting Texas women and families. Texas will continue to fight the Biden administration’s radical abortion agenda and protect mothers and children in our state.”
Biden has been pushing to force taxpayers to fund elective abortions through Medicaid since he took office. This week, he signed an executive order directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to explore ways to skirt the Hyde Amendment and use Medicaid dollars to pay for pregnant women in pro-life states to travel to other states for an abortion.
Taxpayer funding for abortions is hugely unpopular with Americans. A Marist poll in January found that 73 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions.
In contrast, pro-life Texans have been passing laws and expanding support services to protect both women and babies, born and unborn.