Planned Parenthood announced their separation from Title X on August 19, following the newly implemented rule that prohibits grantees to refers abortions for women. Title X is a federal grant program introduced in the 1970’s by Former President Richard Nixon that helps cover family-planning costs for low-income families or individuals. This monumental decision decreased unwanted pregnancies after it went into effect, due to the fact that it covers abortion costs- a controversial topic that has put the country in a hot debate.
Title X has had a rough time since Trump took the seat as President, as his administration has threatened to overturn revolutionary cases such as Roe v. Wade.
Following these threats, the Trump administration-which carries strong anti-abortion views- has implemented a gag rule. This rule includes features that do not allow a woman to receive a referral for abortion, forcing providers to withhold important information, which makes it nearly impossible to receive proper reproductive healthcare. “The Trump administration has forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X. The impact of the Trump administration’s gag rule will reverberate across the country,” Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood, said in a news conference on August 19.
As a result, McGill Johnson announced the organization’s withdrawal on August 20. This statement carries immense weight- they receive $90 million from Title X annually and serve 40% of Title X patients, which is about 4 million people.
There are more than 650 Planned Parenthood centers throughout the nation, and all of them offer care to patients regardless of their ability to cover the costs. While the topic about abortion has been raging, it should be known that their facilities offer contraceptives, scans for STI’s, sex education, and many more non-abortion related topics. Following Planned Parenthood’s announcement, Maine Family Planning also stated their withdrawal from Title X. This company serves those who live in Maine that are in need of assistance in family planning, and is also Maine’s only grantee.
Those in the lowest income bracket, which Title X was formed to support financially, will likely be hit hardest by this action. Statistics show that the risk of contracting an STI is significantly higher for these people. While these numbers may seem staggering already, minorities have it worse- a poor, black person has more than 25% increased risk of being infected. Recently, diagnosed STDs have spiked in rural areas due to the fact that populations in those areas tend to have high poverty rates. 56% of Planned Parenthood centers are located in rural areas, where poor women will lose guaranteed financial backing due to the company’s removal from the federal grant.
Although this statement to speak out against the Trump administration’s gag rule is bold, it has created an internal conflict. In this current moment, these organizations are receiving funding through remaining reserves or donations, but it is unclear what their long-term solution is.
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