Female Reproductive Rights Are in Jeopardy


Dwain Currier

Creative Commons

Ari Solomon, Staff Writer

Last week, the health care provider Planned Parenthood declared that it will no longer accept funding from the Title X plan. 

  Title X is a family planning grant from the Department of Health and Human Services that provides money to clinics around the country with the goal of providing reproductive healthcare to low-income women and families.  

   Planned Parenthood needs Title X because it receives $60 million in funding from the federal family planning grant, but with the new restrictions on the information about abortion that health care providers can give to their patients, Planned Parenthood may just reject the federal dollars. 

   Planned Parenthood mainly serves women and offers services relating to reproductive health, including but not limited to: cancer screenings, abortions, STD testing, pregnancy tests, birth control and contraceptives.

    While the media mainly focuses on the abortion aspect of the organization, it “delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide” according to the organization’s website.

    So, while the pro-life activists demonize the health organization for providing women with the choice regarding their bodies, Planned Parenthood offers a multitude of reproductive health services, especially to women who can’t afford to pay for regular medical fees.

   Planned Parenthood provides discounted services to women around the country with the help of the family planning funds from Title X, but recently President Trump’s administration placed restrictions on the abilities of health-care professionals to provide information about abortions for their patients. Since this new rule requires medical professionals to withhold information from their patients, and it violates the basic human rights of personal choice, Planned Parenthood and medical professionals everywhere are in uproar. 

   In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, President of the American Medical Association, said, “We will continue to defend the right for patients to talk freely with their physicians about all their health care options.”  

   According to The Department of Health and Human Services’ website, “None of the funds appropriated under this title (Title X)  shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” While it may seem like this is a pretty straightforward rule, the new rule prohibits medical professionals that participate in Title X to provide counseling on abortion, refer their patients for an abortion, or to include abortion facilities in the same building as their regular reproductive health center.  

   The only service that the new Title X regulations will allow medical providers to supply in regards to abortion is that medical organizations may give their patients a list of Title X recipients, but may not indicate who on the list provides abortions. In layman terms, The Department of Health and Human Services wants women to go on a scavenger hunt in order to find a safe, healthy and affordable abortion clinic, rather than get direct advice from their doctor. 

   Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood might not have enough time to make its final decisions about its participation in Title X, as The Department of Health and Human Services has set Aug. 19 as the official date that each organization that plans to participate in Title X  is required to submit an “assurance to action plan” showing that they will comply with the new regulations. Planned Parenthood and other fund receiving organizations have petitioned for a stay on the ultimatum presented by The Department of Health and Human Services, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the request.