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Brief #52—Health

Policy
The Trump administration made another calculated move in the war on Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights late last month. Under this new policy provided by Trump and Pence, massive changes to Title X, the federal program that provides birth control and other reproductive health services to an estimated four million low-income Americans, have been finalized. This rule effectively changes what kinds of family planning clinics can receive federal funding, specifically stating that any organizations that provide or refer patients for abortions are ineligible for Title X funding ( covering STD prevention, cancer screenings and contraception). Additionally, the rule says any group or clinician receiving Title X funding must be physically and financially separate from any group that provides abortions, specifically targeting Planned Parenthood and its clinicians where that separation is practically not possible.

Analysis
Singling out providers like Planned Parenthood would then put the communities and individuals that they serve at risk, due to the lack of replacement services and providers to fill in should this order nullify their effective aid to the 2.4 million patients provided for just last year. This policy states “a Title X project may not perform, promote, refer or support abortion as a method of family planning”, actively targeting more liberal organizations and promoting conservative services like abstinence counseling. While this rule does not prevent providers from discussing abortions all together, clinicians are essentially bound by a gag order when discussing anything leaning towards a patient opting for an abortion. Health care providers are forced to either provide patients with cumulative and accurate information, or forgo Title X funding, which will likely result in a sacrifice to the detriment of the patient.

Essentially, this rule requires Planned Parenthood to drastically change its operations or relinquish an estimated $60 million in annual funding, in an attempt to reduce access to abortions nationwide. While Title X changes specifically focus on ensuring clinics do not use the funding to provide abortion care, no federal funds from Title X havde ever been used to pay for abortions, as mandated in Title X’s creation. In support of analysis like this, a coalition of twenty states* and California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced multiple lawsuits earlier this week to prevent the changes from going into effect in 60 days. This policy by the Trump Administration pushes conservative views and limits access to comprehensive healthcare for vulnerable populations at risk by reinforcing the power of the purse.

*States include : Oregon, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, in addition to the District of Columbia, California AG and civil liberties unions.

Resistance Resources

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist : An organization dedicated to the improvement of women’s health. Click here to help #SaveTitleX and click here for additional resources.
  • Planned Parenthood: A nonprofit organization that provides reproductive healthcare. Click here to take a stand against Title X.
  • Contact your representatives here : call, email or send a letter to your local representative stating you oppose the changes to Title X.
  • Contact: This Brief was authored by Taylor J Smith Contact: Taylor@usresistnews.org

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unsplash-logoAndrej Lišakov

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