STATEMENT: Health Care for Nearly Half of Title X Patients At Risk as Planned Parenthood Forced Out of the Program

Washington, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood announced that it is being forced out of Title X, the nation’s only domestic family planning grant program. The announcement comes as the Trump-Pence administration set today as the deadline to comply with its domestic gag rule. Title X provides more than 4 million people with vital family planning and related preventive health services. Of those 4 million clients, Planned Parenthood serves more than 40 percent of them, providing everything from birth control and sexually transmitted disease treatments to wellness exams and cancer screenings. While Planned Parenthood has vowed to step in and work with states to make sure patients continue to have options, the effect of the organization leaving the program is undeniable: Countless women and men may be forced to go without basic health care. Shilpa Phadke, vice president for the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative, issued the following statement:

President Donald Trump has repeatedly broken promises that he’s made about the American people’s health care—and forcing Planned Parenthood out the Title X program and upending relationships between patients and their providers is just the latest example. This administration’s harmful and regressive gag rule forces providers participating in the nearly half-century old, bipartisan family planning program to lie to their patients and withhold vital health information. This represents just the latest attack by the president on people’s bodily autonomy.

But this should not be surprising: President Trump has already tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its contraceptive coverage benefits—arguing that patients denied coverage for contraception could get that care through a Title X provider; he has worked to undermine Medicaid, a program that is vitally important to women’s health; and he is working to overturn Roe v. Wade. And now, he is taking away access to a vital source of reproductive health care, instead funneling that money toward fake women’s health centers that refuse to offer birth control.

This administration talks a lot about its concern for Americans’ access to care, yet we know that the remaining Title X clinics that continue to offer comprehensive health care will simply be unable to absorb the patients that Planned Parenthood used to serve. This will leave countless women, most of whom are low-income women and women of color, having to face long wait lines and prohibitive costs. Women are already forced to drive hundreds of miles to access abortion care; now, they may be forced to drive hundreds of miles to get birth control, too.

This cannot stand. For months, the U.S. Senate has refused to act on a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed in June to protect the Title X program and scrap the domestic gag rule. The lives of millions of women and men depend on them taking action.

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