STATEMENT: By Eliminating Title X Protections, Anti-Choice Politicians Continue Attack on Women’s Access to Health Care

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate—with the help of Vice President Mike Pence, who cast the tie-breaking vote—voted to overturn an Obama administration rule that protects Title X providers, a move that could cause millions of people to go without access to affordable family planning services, reduce the Title X provider network, and tie the hands of providers working on the front lines who are dedicated to responding to underserved communities. The Obama administration rule, which took effect on January 18, 2017, prevents states from blocking federal funding to health care providers that perform abortions with nongovernment funds.

Jamila K. Taylor, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

As part of their extreme agenda, anti-choice members of the U.S. Senate have voted to strip affordable reproductive health care from the 4 million patients who rely on Title X providers each year. Title X providers such as Planned Parenthood provide essential reproductive health services to communities throughout the country and have been a lifeline for women for decades. Overturning Title X protections does nothing to help women have healthier families or lead healthier lives and instead inflicts direct harm on already vulnerable populations.

Once again, anti-choice lawmakers are pushing their extreme agenda to attack not only a highly popular and effective program but also women’s access to affordable family planning services. When women have access to affordable health services, they are better able to lead economically secure lives and support their families.

As the Center for American Progress has previously written, the Title X Family Planning Program has been a lifeline for women, helping them to have healthier families and lead healthier lives. In fact, Title X is the only federal program focused solely on providing people with critical reproductive health services related to family planning and contraception, including physical exams, prescriptions, laboratory exams, contraceptive supplies, and referrals when medically needed. Research shows that, without Title X funding, the number of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births, and abortions each year in the United States would be 66 percent higher.

Read more: The Threat to Title X Family Planning: Why It Matters and What’s at Stake for Women by Kiersten Gillette-Pierce and Jamila K. Taylor

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at ckiene@americanprogress.org or 202.478.5328.