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Ruling Underscores the Need For Courts To Protect People’s Access To Health Care

Washington, D.C. - Tonight, a U.S. District Court ruled against the four million people who rely on the nation’s only program for reproductive health care and birth control (Title X).

In late February, the Trump-Pence administration began trying to completely remake the Title X program through a call for funding applications, changing the program so that it no longer focuses on either birth control or reproductive health care and instead pushes patients toward abstinence and tries to keep patients from coming to Planned Parenthood. Not only is this illegal, but it could have devastating consequences and threaten health care for millions.

Tonight, the court allowed these changes to the program to stand.

Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Planned Parenthood will not stop fighting for our patients and the four million people who depend on this health care. This program is meant to ensure that every person -- regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether or not they have health insurance -- has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care, such as birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and regular check-ups. The Trump-Pence administration is trying to impose its ideology on people -- no matter how many it hurts. They are trying to tell women what kind of birth control to use, they are trying to keep people from getting comprehensive reproductive health care and from going to Planned Parenthood health centers. We will never stop fighting for people’s health and rights. No matter what.

In April, three Planned Parenthood affiliates were joined by the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) in filing Planned Parenthood Wisconsin v. Azar, challenging the administration’s announcement, which would make fundamental changes to the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care upon which 4 million people rely for health care each year. For example, the announcement removes all references to contraception and clinical standards for care and instead prioritizes providing funding to entities that, among other things, emphasize abstinence-only until marriage counseling for adults.

Title X is the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care -- one that more than four million people rely on each year.  Many of the people who rely on it may not even know it exists -- but without it they wouldn’t be able to access birth control, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, or regular checkups. And for many it’s their only form of health care.

The Trump-Pence administration’s proposed changes would have devastating consequences for patients and could threaten health care for millions of people.

  • In a state like Wisconsin, over 31,200 Title X patients rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for access to birth control, HIV- and STI-testing, breast and cervical exams, and countless other services. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin served 86 percent of Title X patients in the state and there are seven counties where Planned Parenthood is the only Title X provider.
  • In a state like Ohio, over 59,000 Title X patients rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for access to birth control, HIV- and STI-testing, breast and cervical exams, and countless other services. Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio served over 63 percent of Title X patients in the state and there are nine counties where Planned Parenthood is the only Title X provider.
  • In a state like Utah, over 36,700 Title X patients rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for access to birth control, HIV- and STI-testing, breast and cervical exams, and countless other services.  For over 30 years PPAU has been the sole Title X grantee in Utah and the only specialized reproductive health care provider serving Utahns across the state.

Since taking office, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have pushed policy after policy to take away basic rights and health care. Among other things, they have: issued a rule to allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees, ended protections for sexual assault survivors, tried to eliminate the teen pregnancy prevention program, tried to block women from getting care at Planned Parenthood, appointed officials who don’t believe women should use birth control to oversee our nation’s program dedicated to affordable birth control and reproductive health care.

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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.