Texas Bill Targets Abortion Providers, but Local Providers Worry About Impact on Sexual Health

After debate long into the night Friday, Senate Bill 29 was passed by the Texas House of Representatives, meaning all government funds will be cut off from any part of an organization that provides abortion in Texas. As abortion bills across the south make headlines, the bill in the Texas legislature may impact women’s health in Dallas and across the state. Taxpayer dollars have long been barred from funding abortions, but this bill would not allow Dallas County or another government entity to send any funds to an organization like Planned Parenthood, which provides a number of health services. Senate… Full Story

Planned Parenthood’s New App Can Help Women Order Birth Control Without an Appointment

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas launched their app PP Direct, which can help women obtain birth control, last week. The new technology allows individuals to gain access to birth control and auto-refills for up to a year without an appointment. The app, which is available for iPhone and Android, also helps navigate the different types of birth control and matches it with each person, outlining the benefits and risks of each method. The app can help women plan a health center appointment or pay for the medicine. The app is free and is only available for individuals 18 or older… Full Story

Dallas Physician Aims to Decrease the Spread of HIV Infection With Saturday PrEP Clinic

A physician whose involvement in fighting HIV infection stretches back to the late-‘80s and early-90s AIDS crisis is opening a Saturday PrEP clinic, hoping to continue to curtail the spread of HIV. Dr. Steven Pounders is opening the clinic on Sept. 8. It will provide lab testing and follow ups for patients interested in getting on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a new prevention approach with the drug Truvada that Pounders says reduces the risk of obtaining HIV infection by as much as 90 percent. “We’ve been looking for ways to try to encourage more and more people to take it,” Pounders… Full Story

Planned Parenthood Adds Services for Transgender People To More Texas Locations

Based on demand, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT) is adding services for transgender people to two additional health centers, one in Denton and another in Austin. Those are in addition to locations in Arlington, Austin, and Plano, which started offering gender affirming hormone therapy last year. Planned Parenthood plans to expand to more locations later this year, and says it’s receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients. “Our health centers have always provided not just trans-friendly, but trans-competent healthcare to patients who too often have previously gone without necessary care out of fear or uncertainty,” said Elizabeth Cardwell, PPGT lead… Full Story

As Gov. Perry Signs New Abortion Restrictions Into Law, Clinics Weigh Their Options

Governor Rick Perry signed Texas House Bill 2 into law Thursday, ending—albeit temporarily, most likely—a months-long battle over the controversial abortion bill. “At the end of the day, House Bill 2 makes sure that anyone performing abortions in the state of Texas is doing so in a facility that meets appropriate safety guidelines, and that people there are prepared to handle any emergencies that might occur,” Perry said. “That is a reasonable, common sense expectation for those caring for the health and safety of Texans.” While the governor was signing the bill, abortion providers statewide were weighing their next steps.… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.06.12)

Parker University will add three degree programs in January as part of a plan to develop 12 new programs through 2017. The programs were chosen in response to high demand among students, an increase in industry salaries, and changes in occupational healthcare trends, the university says.

About 7,000 women in DFW must now find an alternative to Planned Parenthood after the state officially cut its funding because the clinics offer abortions. An appeal of the ruling is under way.

A UT Southwestern medical student was featured on three episodes of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” The contestent didn’t win the big prize, but he certainly didn’t go home empty-handed.

Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure. The CDC reports that more than half of those people—36 million—don’t have it under control and recommends team-based approaches to help the problem. Full Story

Planned Parenthood Consolidates North and Central Texas Affiliates into Dallas Office

By the end of this month, Planned Parenthood will consolidate its Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Waco offices into one North Texas location. The boards of directors approved the merger in April. The Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region (Austin), Planned Parenthood of Central Texas (Waco) and Planned Parenthood of North Texas (DFW) will cease to exist Aug. 31. The name of the merged organization will be Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT). It plans to serve more than 120,000 Texans in North and Central Texas in its 29 health centers, and become one of the largest nonprofit women’s health… Full Story