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Issues

Read more about Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaiʻi's issues.

Title X

Established in 1970, Title X provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes, who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own.

Federal Title X funding helps ensure that every person — regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether or not they have health insurance — has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care.

Title X federal funding 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. In 2010, state and federal governments saved $13.6 billion from publicly funded family planning programs, including $7 billion from Title X-funded health centers alone.

In spring 2018, Trump proposed a nationwide “gag” rule — a dangerous measure designed to block access to health care for millions of people. The gag rule would make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program to tell patients how they can safely and legally access abortion.

In doing so, the rule removes the guarantee that patients get full and accurate information about their health care from their doctor. If that's not enough, another effect of the gag rule could be that millions of people will not get the health care they need — birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even basic wellness exams.

Birth Control and Other Preventive Care

Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve access to preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and contraception. In fact, more than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer nationwide is preventive, helping people make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, their lives, and their futures.

As the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider, educator, and advocate, Planned Parenthood is dedicated to ensuring access to quality, affordable, and culturally competent health care and information in order to build strong, healthy families and communities.

Sex Education

Sex education, when done right, can transform people’s lives and society at large. Quality sex education taught by trained educators covers a wide range of topics, including relationships, decision making, condom negotiation, gender identity, body image, birth control, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When people receive quality sex education, they explore their values and beliefs about sex and relationships while also gaining skills to navigate relationships and manage their own sexual health.

 

Everyone deserves quality sex education.

 

But too few young people get it because a patchwork of inconsistent laws and policies makes access to it inequitable.

The outrageous thing is, sex education is incredibly popular in the United States. Most Americans think young people should receive quality sex education that covers a wide range of important topics, including birth control and sexual orientation. And lots of people assume schools are already providing good sex education (even when they’re not).

Too many people aren’t getting any sex education at all, or they’re getting unhelpful, shaming, or abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. We can do better.

Abortion Access

The courts have protected safe, legal abortion throughout the United States since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed access to abortion as a constitutional right in its Roe v. Wade decision. 

Yet for years, abortion opponents have fought to turn back the clock: stacking federal courts with anti-abortion judges; passing unconstitutional legislation; spreading deceptions; imposing arbitrary restrictions; and waging one legal battle after another. Their ultimate goal? Reverse Roe v. Wade and make safe, legal abortion impossible to obtain.

Attacks on Roe began to ramp up in 2011, when anti-abortion politicians made massive gains in federal and state elections. Since then challenges to safe, legal abortion have mounted at a rapid clip. In some places, abortion restrictions have in fact made abortion harder to access. These restrictions fall especially hard on people with low incomes, for whom the cost of transportation, childcare, and taking time off work often combine to put abortion access out of reach.

Planned Parenthood fights these anti-choice efforts on every level. From courthouses to statehouses to Capitol Hill to the grassroots, Planned Parenthood works to protect access to reproductive health care through education of elected officials, litigation, and mobilization of more than over 300,000 Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii activists, donors, and supporters in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Washington.

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Health Care Equity

All people should have equal access to reproductive health care. And yet women of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people (especially those whose identities intersect) are disproportionately impacted by restrictions on that care. For many, birth control and abortion are out of reach because of their income, where they live, or because their boss objects to it.

Historically marginalized communities not only have worse access to reproductive health care — they also, as a result, have worse health issues.

  • LGBTQ people’s reproductive health needs often go unmet by a system that has traditionally marginalized such care. In addition to high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, which has been shown to affect physical and mental health, LGBTQ people face low rates of health insurance coverage, and high rates of HIV/AIDS and cancer.

  • Undocumented immigrants and recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a deportation relief program, are prohibited from accessing basic health insurance coverage through Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.

  • Regardless of income, health disparities for people of color are disproportionately higher than their white  counterparts by most  measures of reproductive health, including rate of unintended pregnancy, the prevalence of HIV infection, and STDs, as well as maternal and infant mortality rates — which are worse in the United States than other developed nations and are especially high for U.S Black women, whose maternal mortality is more than twice the rate for white women.

Reproductive health equity gives people what they need to have a fair chance at sexual and reproductive well-being and autonomy. That means your race, ethnicity, gender, income, sexual orientation, immigration status, or neighborhood does not disadvantage you from accessing the quality and affordable health care services you need to live a life of reproductive health.