Changes to Title X Will Strip Health Clinics of Tens of Millions of Federal Dollars
Washington – The Trump administration continued its attack on reproductive health with a harmful rule change on Friday that threatens to drastically undermine access to comprehensive unbiased family planning services for low income people. Title X is a highly effective federal program designed to provide affordable birth control and reproductive health care for low-income individuals, and to ensure they can make informed decisions about their reproductive decisions. The rule makes it easier for the government to divert funds from reproductive health care providers to medically-dubious, anti-abortion, faith-based care providers, such as fake pregnancy centers that often deceive patients with inaccurate information. In addition, the rule effectively bars reproductive health clinics that provide abortion care or provide referrals for such care from participating in Title X.
This proposed rule will disproportionately harm low-income individuals and families, particularly people of color. Title X, enacted in 1970, was designed to prioritize the needs of low-income families and promote reproductive health options, positive birth outcomes, and healthy families. The program currently provides 4 million low-income people with access to medically competent care including birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, mammograms, and other essential health care. Advocates fear that the rule will lead to the closure of community-based health clinics, and that the rule’s preference for faith-based care providers will force individuals into situations where they receive ineffectual health care that is religiously biased, rather than care rooted in sound medical practices. Further, the rule interferes with the trusted and confidential provider-patient relationship by prohibiting clinics from giving patient accurate information about their health care choices.
“This nation has a cruel tradition of exploiting black and brown bodies, especially women’s bodies, and this rule fits snuggly within that tradition,” says National Health Law Program’s Director of Reproductive Health Susan Berke Fogel. “President Trump and his Department of Health and Human Services are forcing low-income individuals and families to bear the burden of his war on reproductive health. Funding that was intended to help low-income people access quality reproductive health care has instead been weaponized against comprehensive health care. Abortion is safe, common medical care. We know there are significant negative health and well-being consequences when patients are not trusted to make their own decisions.”
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 quality health care.