CHICAGO - Facing a Health and Human Services (HHS)-imposed deadline of August 19, Planned Parenthood Federation of America today informed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that unless the court intervenes, Planned Parenthood entities who are Title X grantees will be forced out of the Title X program by August 19 –– putting access to affordable birth control at risk for people across the country, including more than 50,000 Illinois residents. Planned Parenthood of Illinois serves over 40% of the patients in the state who rely on Title X for care and is the only Title X provider in six counties in Central Illinois: LaSalle, Macon, McLane, Peoria, Sangamon, and Tazewell. Community health centers throughout Illinois say there is no way they will be able to fill the gap if Planned Parenthood health centers are no longer allowed to serve these patients. This puts affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, with an even greater impact on communities in poverty and rural communities.
Title X is the nation’s only dedicated program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The gag rule makes it illegal for any provider in the Title X program to tell patients how or where to access abortion, and imposes cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” restrictions on health centers that provide abortion –– moves that are clearly meant to push Planned Parenthood health centers and other reproductive health care providers out of Title X. HHS –– which has asked all direct grantees to submit a plan for complying with the unethical gag rule by August 19 –– even awarded $1.7 million in Title X funding this year to the Obria Group in California, an anti-abortion group that has made clear they “do not provide contraceptives.”
Below is a statement attributed to Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
"We continue to advocate for the rights of all Illinois residents to have access to abortion information and health care despite the latest move by the Trump-Pence Administration to bully Planned Parenthood out of the Title X program with the unethical and dangerous gag rule.
“Illinois is a haven for reproductive health care but the Title X gag rule sidesteps the choices of local residents and will create extreme negative consequences for our residents, especially in Central Illinois where health care access is already limited.
“Title X was started in 1970 and has helped generations with birth control, routine health screenings, and access to abortion information and referrals regardless of income or insurance status. Planned Parenthood of Illinois stands by its patients’ rights and we continue, as always, to fight for those rights.”
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Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) provides affordably priced high-quality reproductive health care services to women, teens and men throughout Illinois. Through health care services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive health and rights of each individual. For more information, visit www.ppil.org