Women's health care debate comes to Houston with rally and protest at Planned Parenthood

March 12, 2012 4:45:05 PM PDT
The women's health care debate took center stage on Houston's south side Monday morning.

Anti-abortion demonstrators protested a Women's Health Express rally at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast building, part of a statewide tour called "Don't Mess With Texas Women." Rally supporters want Governor Rick Perry to reconsider enforcing a law that will force federal funding to be pulled from the state's women's health program.

The law prohibits women in the program from visiting Planned Parenthood or any clinic associated with an abortion provider. That law violates federal law which states women on Medicaid must be able to choose their own provider.

Women against the state's decision say it's just one more way the governor and state lawmakers are hurting healthcare for Texas women. They cite the abortion law as another example.

The counter-protesters say there are other clinics where women can go for care that don't offer abortions.

Speakers Monday included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who pledged legislators would find a way to reach a middle ground.