First State to Follow Trump-Pence Administration’s Harmful Title X Attack
Washington, D.C. — The state of Nebraska just prohibited Planned Parenthood health centers from serving patients through Title X program -- the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Included as a measure in the state’s budget, the move would block health care for more than 8,000 Planned Parenthood patients when it goes into effect on July 1. The budget bill was signed into law by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts on Wednesday, April 4. Planned Parenthood has vowed to fight to continue serving patients who need access to affordable reproductive health care, no matter what.
This follows the Trump-Pence Administration’s recent move to shift the priorities of the Title X program, seeking to penalize reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood, and using the program to push women toward abstinence or “fertility awareness methods” of birth control such as the “rhythm method” over other, more effective forms of birth control. Nebraska lawmakers even quoted the Trump-Pence administration during the budget debate, in order to justify their attack against patients who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
This is what happens when states follow in the steps of the Trump-Pence administration -- women suffer. Because of Governor Ricketts’ actions, 8,000 people in Nebraska stand to lose basic health care -- care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and regular exams. Without Planned Parenthood, many of our patients have nowhere else to go for health care. We will not stop fighting for our patients and every person’s right to control their own body, own lives, and own future.
In Nebraska, Planned Parenthood plays an outsized role in serving Title X patients. Nearly one-third of Nebraskans who utilize Title X services choose Planned Parenthood for their health care. In 2015, Planned Parenthood’s health center in Lincoln served 75 percent of all Title X patients in Lancaster County. That same year, Planned Parenthood’s Omaha health center served nearly half of all Title X patients in Douglas County. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of Title X patients.
Due to systemic barriers, women of color rely on the Title X program at higher rates than White women. Out of the four million family planning clients whom Title X serves, more than half are women of color: 21 percent of all Title X clients identify as Black or African American, and 30 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.
The Title X program is the only federal program dedicated to birth control access. Since the program started in 1970, it has garnered broad, bipartisan support year after year. Title X 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 well-woman exams. Title X is an important safety net for people who would otherwise go without health care. This includes communities of color and people with low incomes, two groups that historically face more barriers to care and are less likely to have health insurance.
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.