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Planned Parenthood Defunding Leads to More Births Among Poor? Not So Fast

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A medical study fails to show significant harm from Texas’s defunding of Planned Parenthood.

A recent New England Journal of Medicine study has the mainstream media swooning. Ever since Texas excluded Planned Parenthood from its state health-care program in 2011, countless media outlets have been eager to find evidence of negative public-health consequences.

At first glance, the NEJM study appears to serve that purpose nicely. It purportedly shows that after Texas defunded Planned Parenthood in 2011, contraceptive claims went down and Medicaid births went up. The study was released this Wednesday and has already received overwhelmingly positive coverage from a number of mainstream-media outlets, including The Dallas Morning News, Vox, and the Los Angeles Times.

That said, a closer look at the study indicates that the results are considerably more nuanced. Most importantly, the study analyzes Medicaid births only among a specific subset of Texas women — those receiving injectable contraceptives through the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP). It did not consider Medicaid births among Texas women receiving other kinds of contraceptives though the TWHP. It also did not consider data on either unintended pregnancies or abortions — both of which would be useful in evaluating the impact of the state’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Read more at National Review.

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