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On June 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially issued proposed rules that will undermine the Title X (ten) program by requiring physical separation of family planning and abortion services, restricting counseling and abortion referrals, and deemphasizing contraception as a core component for the family planning program. These rules are dually harmful, negatively affecting both the Title X provider network, as well as the delivery of timely, accurate health care information to Title X patients.

There is a growing list of opposition to these proposed rules, including the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American College of Physicians, and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). All agree that these rules are harmful, dangerous, and should be withdrawn.

Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. (MFHC), the state’s sole Title X grantee, Planned Parenthood, ACOG, and other vital family planning providers held a press briefing today regarding this important issue.

In addition to the attack on Title X, the Missouri Legislature recently passed restrictions on the state- funded family planning program and Medicaid, which could prevent abortion providers and affiliates of abortion providers from serving the patients in these programs. These restrictions could impact thousands of Missouri women with low incomes.

new report from Planned Parenthood finds that only 7% of health centers in Missouri, other than Planned Parenthood, offer accessible and comprehensive family planning care, demonstrating a need for all safety net providers.

These attacks on the family planning safety net are political, egregious, and shortsighted. In an effort to “get” abortion providers, politicians’ actions will leave some of the most vulnerable Missourians with nowhere to go for birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.

Following are quotes from several of today’s speakers:

The health care safety net is already at maximum capacity in Missouri. The thought of restricting any provider, much less Planned Parenthood, which serves almost 34% of those in need of Title X services in our state, is incomprehensible. Prohibiting participation in federal and state programs simply adds more demand with less supply – an equation that does not work. It will cause the safety net to break.

Michelle Trupiano, Executive Director
Missouri Family Health Council

 

Policy decisions impacting women’s health must be anchored in the best science. These policies should advance public health. Goals of such efforts must put patients before politics. The proposed rule is a dangerous example of political intrusion into the patient-provider relationship.

Colleen McNicholas, DO MSCI
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - Missouri Section

 

At Planned Parenthood, patients receive compassionate care from providers who are experts in sexual and reproductive health. Blocking patients from our health centers will keep people from accessing the high-quality, expert care they need and deserve.

Kristin Metcalf-Wilson, Assistant Vice President of Health Services
Planned Parenthood Great Plains

 

As one of the largest Title X providers in Missouri, Planned Parenthood understands allowing patients to have their choice of provider increases the chances that patient will access care, and will continue getting care. This continuity of care is tied to good overall health, and our policies must reflect that fact.

Janice Thomas, Vice President of Patient Services & Research
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

 

The safety net only works when we are all working together to catch the most vulnerable in the state. These restrictions will put a hole in the safety net, leaving all patients vulnerable.

Lisa Ecsi Davis, Director of Operations
Tri-Rivers Family Planning

 

To listen to a recording of today’s press briefing and access the full report, visit ppmissouri.org/report.

 


About MFHC

Missouri Family Health Council’s mission is to champion access for every individual to culturally sensitive, quality, sexual and reproductive health education and services. The Missouri Title X federal family planning program provides comprehensive family planning services to approximately 40,000 women and men annually. The Title X network in Missouri is very diverse, including federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), community action agencies, county health departments, Planned Parenthood affiliates, and some standalone family planning clinics. Title X primarily serves low-income clients, and frequently serves as the initial point of care for many patients. Please visit www.mfhc.org for more information.

About Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri and associated entities provide critical health and education services to over 40,000 women, men, and young people every year.

Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri works to protect and advance Missourians’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 


 

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