A few days ago, Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, unveiled his plan for women's healthcare issues. The plan itself is painfully short on details, and is a rather limited solution to a big problem.
The plan raises money for important women's healthcare such as cancer screenings, as well as more incentives for medical professionals to expand their services into historically underserved communities. As many liberal commentators have noted, this plan is more show than substance, and it completely ignores one solution that would provide a huge, immediate benefit to the women of Texas: allowing the federal government to step in and expand Medicaid, as prescribed by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, the Democratic candidate for governor, has not offered much in the way of highly detailed plans on this topic herself. However, Abbott should face special scrutiny, given the fact that he has so vigorously campaigned for the continued enforcement of an omnibus anti-abortion bill (the one Davis filibustered) that will likely close down the vast majority of clinics that provide abortions to women in Texas.
Contrary to what many in the Republican Party may say, Planned Parenthood and likewise services do not exclusively terminate pregnancies, nor is it the majority of what they do. Rather, family planning organizations such as them spend enormous resources providing basic healthcare for women, including cancer screenings. Since Davis doesn't want these clinics closed, she doesn't have to explain how she intends upon making up the invaluable services to the women of Texas.
Perhaps Abbott should hire a few female advisors on this topic. According to photographs of Abbott's press conference at a hospital in Houston wherein he announced his new platform, the only relevant players in this policy debate are men. No fewer than eight stand directly behind him as he discusses healthcare and choices that will directly affect none of them.
Horwitz is an associate editor.