Lead investigator Dr. Joe Potter and graduate research assistant Amanda Stevenson combed through mountains of state data to determine how each county, Senate district, House district, and public health region was affected by the 2011 budget cuts to family planning. Those cuts have left hundreds of thousands of women without the essential preventive and contraceptive care they need. Clinics have been forced to lay off staff, reduce their hours, start charging for services that were once free, or close their doors altogether. The TX PEP app really localizes the catastrophic consequences that came with the funding cuts.
Dr. Potter and Amanda told the Texas Tribune that their next plan is to study some of the regional trends–“I look forward to exploring that in the next couple of weeks. There are so many districts and counties to check out,” he said. “But rural counties were hit harder than more urban counties. Cuts were worse where there was only one clinic, of course, because in some cases there’s no clinic anymore.”
We at the center look forward to using the new app in our work, as well as through the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition.