Title X proposal would hurt people who need it most
The president has proposed a budget rule to eliminate federal Title X funding from medical providers who support or offer abortions. If approved, this would essentially dismantle family planning and preventive health services for the economically disadvantaged. The purpose is clearly political rather than practical, with the transparent goal of cutting Planned Parenthood’s funding, despite their provision of 40 percent of (non-abortion related) Title X services. Currently, any facility receiving Title X funds must provide values-neutral options counseling to patients facing unintended pregnancy. Under the proposed guidelines, options counseling could no longer include abortion referrals, and funding would be cut to Planned Parenthood, and any clinics providing abortions, despite the fact that Title X funding cannot be and is not used for abortions. The need for people to access health care and plan and space their children is not a partisan issue. There is clear evidence that rates of abortion worldwide are not reduced by the restriction of it. Access to vital health services, however, will be reduced by these proposed changes for those who are vulnerable and unable to obtain services elsewhere, which will ultimately increase, not reduce, the need for abortion. This will also increase health disparities right here in Western New York, particularly for people of color, youth, and those living in rural areas. Now, more than ever, we must support organizations like Planned Parenthood who will be offering comments against these proposed budget changes, so we can prevent these reductions in important health services before it’s too late.
Gretchen Ely, PhD
Associate Professor, UB School of Social Work