$6M reproductive health access fund announced for women in Harris County

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and health experts announced a $6M reproductive health access fund.

The Fund, financed by American Rescue Plan Act, will help women get contraception and screenings at clinics operated by HCPH and other providers. 

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Grassroots organizations will provide education and outreach to at least 20,000 residents. 

The Fund will build capacity for reproductive health care and services, expanding the services of smaller clinics and community health organizations.

To fulfill a promise some Harris County Commissioners Court members made to expand access to contraception and reproductive health services after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade triggered the Texas abortion ban.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Texas wasted no time banning and criminalizing abortion in a state where families already struggle with high maternal mortality rates and access to health care. Texas’ uninsured rate is twice the national average, and nearly 20% of Harris County residents between the ages of 14 and 44 are uninsured. 

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The program, which will operate in ZIP Codes with a high number of uninsured people, will increase awareness and utilization of reproductive healthcare services, decrease the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and improve health outcomes for reproductive-age people. It will operate for a two-year period beginning this month.

Commissioner Court is expected to vote on the measure Tuesday.