Since 1970, the Title X (ten) Family Planning Program has helped millions of low-income people afford much-needed health care. But each year, backward politicians threaten this critical health care safety net.
Types of Title X Services
Today, more than 4 million Americans rely on affordable family planning services that are funded by Title X. Those basic primary and preventive health care services include:
Lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings
Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV
In 2016 alone, health centers provided nearly 700,000 Pap tests; over 4 million STI tests (including HIV tests); and nearly 1 million women with breast exams through Title X.
The Impact of Title X
Title X offers preventive health care to those most in need, and it has great results.
For one thing, the affordable birth control that Title X provides helps prevent 1 million unintended pregnancies each year. That aligns with what we know about publicly funded birth control services in general — these services helped women avoid 1.9 million unintended pregnancies in 2014.
By giving women more control over if and when they have children, Title X allows women to have more control over their lives — including their health, careers, and economic security.
Title X has undoubtedly saved women’s lives with early detection of cancer through its affordable Pap tests and breast exams.
Title X helps people catch STIs & HIV and avert a host of other health issues.
Title X also saves taxpayers money. For every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning programs like Title X, the government saves $7.09 in Medicaid-related costs. Additionally, as an example, in 2010 state and federal governments saved $13.6 Billion from publicly funded family planning programs, including $7 Billion from the Title X-funded centers alone.
Who Benefits From Title X
Most people who rely on Title X-funded services are low-income and cannot afford this care on their own. In fact, 78% of Title X patients have incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level.
The Title X program fights health care inequity by serving populations that have historically faced significant barriers to care, including people of color. About 21% of Title X patients identify as Black or African American and 32% identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Title X also helps people who are uninsured. Although the Affordable Care Act helped more people than ever before get insured, low- and middle-income folks remain uninsured and have a greater need for publicly funded family planning services.
In fact, researchers estimated that in 2016 4.7 million women of reproductive age with low incomes lacked coverage for family planning care.
Title X and Planned Parenthood
Women and men rely on Title X in every state at nearly Title X health centers each year. Planned Parenthood serves 41% of all patients served through the program despite only making up 13% of Title X centers.
Threats to Title X
Efforts to undermine access to high-quality family planning endanger millions of lives. Yet each year, Title X faces the threat of steep federal budget cuts led by anti-women’s health legislators and extreme officials in HHS are poised to erode the program. If Title X is eliminated or undermined, it would particularly hurt the 78% of Title X patients who live below 150% the federal poverty level.
Our message to Congress and the White House is simple: Title X is absolutely essential to ensure that millions of women, men, and young people from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds get the care they need. Without it, other providers can’t meet the demand for health care.