“Today is the day the Trump-Pence administration learns it can’t just circumvent the law. Our bodies are our own — and shouldn’t be at the mercy of the Trump-Pence administration.”
Washington DC — Today, three Planned Parenthood affiliates filed suit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. against the Trump-Pence administration to fight for the four million people who depend on Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care.
Title X is the country’s only initiative dedicated to affordable birth control and reproductive health care. This program, which more than four million people rely on each year, is meant to ensure that every person — regardless of where they live, how much money they make, what their background is, 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. Many of the people who rely on it may not even know it exists, but without it they wouldn’t be able to access this essential care.
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.
Statement by Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Today is the day the Trump-Pence administration learns it can’t just circumvent the law. Planned Parenthood is going to court to stop the Trump-Pence administration from trying to impose its ideology on people. Our bodies are our own and shouldn’t be at the mercy of the Trump-Pence administration. We are going to court to fight for our patients’ health and rights — and for the millions of people in this country who need to access quality reproductive health care.”
Statement from Dr. Gillian Dean, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Trump-Pence administration is trying to tell women what kind of birth control to use — or in many cases not to use a method of birth control at all. They are trying to push people toward abstinence or pressure women into marriage — instead of helping them get quality health care. They are trying to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers — with devastating consequences. Everyone deserves the right to control their own bodies and future, and to get the care they need.”
The suit was filed by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah in federal district court in Washington, D.C., and alleges that the dramatic changes HHS is making to the Title X program through its funding announcement are illegal because they are contrary to the Title X statute and regulations, which make clear that Title X is meant to provide comprehensive, evidence-based contraception and reproductive health services. The plaintiffs are asking the court to block the illegal funding announcement and continue Title X patients’ current access to care. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from WilmerHale and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have pushed policy after policy to take away basic rights and health care, including access to birth control. They have:
- Issued a rule to allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees
- Ended protections for sexual assault survivors on campus
- Tried to eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
- Tried, over and over again, to block women from getting care at Planned Parenthood
This is not the first time the Trump-Pence administration has tried to radically remake a federal program to push abstinence and ideology over the original program goals. Fewer than two weeks ago, it issued a funding announcement that would radically remake the successful Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) to push ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programming, rather than a wide range of programs that are proven to help young people stay healthy.
Title X is a decades-old, successful, and popular public health program designed to ensure people have access to birth control and reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of the people in the program and are often the only places people can come to for specialized care like an IUD or the birth control shot. More than half of the people who rely on the Title X program are people of color: 21 percent of all Title X clients identify as Black or African American, and 32 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Today, the U.S. is at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancies and an all-time low for pregnancies among teenagers. That is due in large part to increased access to highly effective contraceptive methods and sex education. Indeed, Title X ensures that women can choose from the full range of birth control options — including IUDs, implants, the pill, the patch, the ring, condoms, and fertility awareness methods — to find the method that best meets their needs. Taking away access to those methods is a significant and harmful shift in Title X policy.
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 affiliates 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.