Proposed Title X Rule Would Harm Health of Low-Income Individuals and Families
Washington, D.C. – On July 5, the National Health Law Program, joined by 31 civil and human rights organizations, submitted a friend of the court brief submitted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to thwart the Trump administration’s draconian new Title X rule. The rule forces health care providers to choose between offering low-income patients comprehensive, unbiased family planning services and much needed federal funding.
The new Title X rule, proposed in February and being challenged in the courts, makes it easier for the government to divert funds away from reproductive health care providers and towards medically-dubious, anti-abortion, faith-based care providers, such as fake pregnancy centers that often deceive patients with inaccurate information. The new rule overturns nearly fifty years of progress in which Title X funded clinics were required to provide evidence-based, unbiased, non-directive counseling that included medically approved contraceptive methods, and referrals to prenatal care and abortion, depending on a patient’s decision about a pregnancy. The rule effectively bars reproductive health clinics that provide abortion care or provide referrals for such care from participating in Title X funding.
“Title X works, and we have nearly five decades of evidence that proves it,” says National Health Law Program Executive Director Elizabeth Taylor. “Since its inception, Title X has prioritized the needs of low-income families and promoted reproductive health options, positive birth outcomes, and healthy families. Right now, Title X provides 4 million low-income people with access to quality medical care including birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, mammograms, and other essential health care. But the Trump administration’s rule change threatens all of that. We’re hearing from advocates across the country that they fear community-based health clinics will be forced to close, and that low-income individuals in need of sound medical care will be redirected to situations where they receive dubious and ideologically-driven care.”
“Once again, the Trump administration is risking the health and well-being of women and families with a rule based on ideology, not evidence and medical standards of care,” said Susan Berke Fogel, Director of Reproductive Health. “As our brief explains, communities of color, people in rural areas, people with disabilities, and adolescents will be disproportionally impacted. Trump’s on-going war on reproductive health will leave people from these groups out in the cold–sicker and with fewer health care options. Family planning and reproductive care, including abortion, is safe, common medical care. We should trust women, including low-income women, to be able to make informed health care decisions about when and whether to bear a child.”
Please contact National Health Law Program Communications department at [email protected] or 703-615-0786 to speak with Berke Fogel for additional comments and resources.
National Health Law Program founded in 1969 advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access comprehensive health care.