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This move by the Trump-Pence administration puts health care at risk for more than 40,000 patients who rely on Planned Parenthood Title X health centers in 5 states

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump-Pence administration today announced that it’s stripping Title X funding from several qualified Planned Parenthood affiliates, despite their proven record of providing a high volume of people struggling to make ends meet with birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. The administration’s fiscal year 2019 grants prove, yet again, that the administration will do anything it takes to limit Planned Parenthood’s ability to serve patients through Title X. These cuts to Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding come just after a report that the administration coached an ideologically friendly state health department on how to apply for funds, and only five weeks before Trump’s gag rule is set to take effect, which would push Planned Parenthood out of Title X altogether.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
 

This latest Trump-Pence administration’s attack on health care affects the ability of 40,000 patients to receive cancer screenings, birth control, STI tests, and other crucial primary and preventive health services. From the beginning, the administration has made clear it wants to dismantle the Title X program by forcing out trusted health centers that provide evidence-based, comprehensive reproductive health care. Today, they are removing funding from these trusted health centers and providing funding to entities that do not provide evidence-based treatment. This continued attack on Title X will result in dismantling our nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, risking access to comprehensive health care for millions of low-income women and families. Planned Parenthood will not let this stand. Just as we are fighting the Trump-Pence administration’s unethical, illegal, and harmful Title X gag rule, we will be fighting through every avenue to protect patients’ rights and every person’s ability to access health care.

The four Planned Parenthood affiliates that were stripped of funding in Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia serve more than 40,000 patients (Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin). For instance, Wisconsin serves an overwhelming majority of the patients in the state and has for nearly 50 years.

In addition to the FY19 grants, the administration is using the gag rule as a tool to push Planned Parenthood out of Title X. It would block patients from care at Planned Parenthood and bar providers from referring patients for safe, legal abortion. The administration's FY20 budget proposal includes a provision to stop Planned Parenthood from serving patients in Title X –– even though Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of the 4 million patients who depend on Title X health centers.  

Over the last few years, the Title X grant process has been mired with political interference and significant concerns including:

  • Yesterday, Equity Forward released damning evidence that the Trump-Pence administration had given the Utah state health department unethical help on how to apply for funds –– raising questions about which grantees received assistance from administration officials. 
     
  • The administration awarded $1.7 million annually in FY19 Title X funds to Obria Group in California, a network of clinics that, as noted in a statement about these grants, “do not provide contraceptives.” 
     
  • Diane Foley, who currently oversees Title X as the acting deputy assistant secretary of population affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was previously the president and CEO of Life Network — an anti-abortion group that operated two crisis pregnancy centers in Colorado. 
     

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

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