On May 3, 2018, three Planned Parenthood affiliates filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. against the Trump-Pence administration to fight for the four million people who depend on Title X, the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care.
Title X: America’s Family Planning Program
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.
Changes to the Title X program would be one of the most large-scale and dangerous attacks on women’s rights and reproductive health in this country. Nationally, Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of the patients who get care through Title X – yet the Trump-Pence administration’s efforts are designed to block those patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers. This would mean many are left with nowhere else to turn. The administrations also wants to “gag” any Title X provider, including hospitals, from sharing information about or even mentioning the word abortion.
The Impact of Title X in Vermont
Title X offers preventive health care to those most in need, and it has significant results. In Vermont, Title X serves 7,800 women annually.
Without Title X-funded family planning services in Vermont, unintended adolescent pregnancies would be 139% higher, and unintended pregnancy and abortion would be 127% higher*. (*Source: Guttmacher Institute).
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:
- Well-woman exams
- Lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings
- Birth control
- Contraception education
- 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.
What is the “Domestic Gag Rule?”
For years, Mike Pence has wanted to impose a "domestic gag rule" on doctors, cutting funds to any health care provider that refers, provides, or even mentions abortion.
Now he may get his wish, and millions of Planned Parenthood patients will pay the price. According to recent reports, the Trump-Pence administration wants to implement a domestic gag rule that threatens your access to reproductive health care.
What does the domestic gag rule do?
This dangerous policy tacks on new restrictions to Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care that four million people rely on. It’s also a radical departure from the way health care operates in the United States.
The rule “gags” doctors by banning them from receiving Title X health care funding if they mention abortion or abortion-related services. This blocks patients from their doctors and makes it impossible for Planned Parenthood health centers to serve patients.
Under this policy, most people with private insurance would still be able to get information about abortion from their doctors. However, people who rely on government initiatives like Title X — many of whom are uninsured, have low incomes, or are people of color — would not.