Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits Houston

March 9, 2012 2:22:30 PM PST
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Houston Friday, warning that Texas could lose federal funding for a program that helps pay for health services for low-income women.

This morning Secretary Sebelius visited Ben Taub Hospital to see how they are using electronic patient records to improve care and coordination of treatment.

Texas health officials say they will start enforcing a law which cuts off taxpayer money to any clinic affiliated with abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Governor Rick Perry says the state will cover the loss of federal funding with state money to non-abortion clinics.

Sebelius says the law is a violation of federal law which says women must be allowed to pick any qualified clinic.

"I think it's really about women making her own choice about her health care provider," she said.

The federal government pays for about 90 percent of the women's health program, which serves about 130,000 low-income women. Sebelius says the funding will be cut off gradually, starting in May and will be gone by September.