On August 19, Planned Parenthood — which serves 40% of the 4 million patients who rely on Title X — was forced from the program rather than comply with the Trump administration’s domestic gag rule. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Title X is legally designed to prioritize the needs of low-income families or uninsured people who might not otherwise have access to these health care services. Under the new rule, family planning clinics funded through Title X can no longer refer a patient for abortion and will be forced to maintain “clear physical and financial separation” between services funded by the government and any organization that provides or refers patients for abortions. What’s more, providers are prohibited from discussing the full range of pregnancy options and are required to refer all pregnant patients for prenatal care.
Make no mistake: the dismantling of Title X threatens the health of 4 million patients, particularly the low-income people, people of color, young people, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals who largely rely on the program. Fortunately, your lawmakers can act to protect the nation’s only family planning program. House Democrats voted on June 19 to approve an appropriations package including strong language blocking the gag rule and implementing a historic funding increase for the program. Contact your senators today — especially those on the appropriations committee and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee — to demand inclusion of this critical language in the Senate appropriations bill.