is the federal program that provides affordable birth control and other reproductive health care to 4 million people — and the Trump-Pence administration is trying to dismantle it
Why It Matters
The federal Title X program was established in 1970 under President Richard Nixon with bipartisan support from Congress.
Title X provides free and low-cost birth control, contraception education, wellness exams, STD tests, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and other preventive reproductive health care.
Over 4 million people with low incomes — including those who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own — rely on Title X.
Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Global Affairs; Former Senior Policy Advisor for the Assistant Secretary for Health (HHS)Appointed: 6-6-2017
Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Health (HHS)Appointed to HHS: Early 2017
What to expect next
Gag rule could go into effect, upending Title X care for 4 million people
Gag rule set to censor Title X providers, block patients from Planned Parenthood
White House memo suggests cutting Title X funding in half
Mike Pence casts deciding vote to undermine Title X protections in states nationwide
“I didn’t have health insurance and even considered taking the risk of not getting on birth control. But then I heard about Planned Parenthood and Title X.”
The Benefits of Title X
Title X is our nation's only federal program focused on affordable birth control and reproductive health care. In the program’s nearly 50-year history, it has had significant results: Title X helps prevent over 1 million unintended pregnancies each year. In 2016 alone, health centers used Title X funding to provide 720,000 Pap tests, more than 4 million STD tests (including HIV tests), and nearly one million women with breast exams.
The Title X program helps ensure that every person — even if they don’t have money or health insurance — has access to reproductive health care. Many people who get care thanks to Title X funding don’t even know the program exists, but without it they might not be able to access critical sexual and reproductive health care services. People who receive health care at Planned Parenthood or other community health centers on a sliding scale often benefit from Title X.
Background on Title X
Because of systemic barriers to health care, the majority of the people who receive care through Title X identify as Black and Latino (about 21% identify as Black or African American, and roughly 33% as Hispanic or Latino). Almost half of Title X patients are young people. So, undermining Title X would especially harm young women of color.ACLU
In early 2019, the administration issued a “gag rule” that would ban providers in Title X from telling patients how they can safely and legally access abortion. Title X funding only covers preventive care and not abortion, but the gag rule is designed to make it impossible for Title X patients to get birth control at Planned Parenthood and other health centers that also provide or refer for abortion. Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association are suing to block the gag rule. And right now, courts have blocked the rule from taking effect.Huffington Post
The administration revised the Title X grant criteria in an apparent attempt to divert Title X funds away from proven, trusted health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
In March 2017, Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote to eliminate federal protections for Title X. The action emboldens states to prevent the use of Title X funds at any health center that also provides safe, legal abortion.Planned Parenthood Action Blog
Planned Parenthood health centers have long been the largest Title X provider in the country. Before the administration diverted Title X grants from Planned Parenthood, the organization served 40% of all Title X patients (1.5 million people). That means attacks on Title X are also attacks on Planned Parenthood.Vox
When the federal government awarded Title X grants to health care providers for fiscal year 2019, it left out four Planned Parenthood affiliates that had been serving more than 40,000 patients through the program in Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. Pushing Planned Parenthood out of Title X in these five states has the same effect that the gag rule would have nationwide: blocking patients who rely on Title X from coming to Planned Parenthood’s qualified health centers, despite their proven record of providing a high volume of people struggling to make ends meet with birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.The Hill
In February 2018, the Trump administration tried to illegally reshape Title X to push “natural family planning” instead of comprehensive contraceptive methods. The administration’s dramatic remake of Title X could take grants away from programs that provide the full range of birth control options (proven to effectively prevent unintended pregnancy), and toward programs that teach abstinence and the “rhythm method” (proven to be ineffective at preventing unintended pregnancy).NPR
A White House memo leaked in October 2017 revealed plans to slash funding for a variety of sexual and reproductive health programs, suggesting that "Title X should be cut in half at least."Bustle