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Contact: Carrie Mumah, [email protected] or 212-274-7294

 

 Rolls Back Access to Full Range of Birth Control Methods; Penalizes Reproductive Health Care Providers; Pushes Abstinence-Only Programs; Opens the Door to Anti-Abortion Counseling Centers

NEW YORK –The Trump-Pence administration released new terms and conditions that essentially upend Title X program—the nation’s program that provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care that 150,000 New York City residents rely on each year. This attack could undermine New York City’s health care system and leave thousands of New Yorkers with limited or no access to their preferred health care provider.

These dramatic shifts could affect how health care is delivered in NYC, particularly access to care for low-income residents and women. In 2015, 91 percent of people served under Title X throughout New York State were women, and 60 percent had incomes at or below the federal poverty line. Twenty-two NYC health care providers receive Title X funding, including 10 NYC Health + Hospital sites, Planned Parenthood of New York City, and other community-based providers.

Quote from Laura McQuade, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City:

“Extremists in the Trump-Pence administration are trying to impose their political ideology on people who receive health care through Title X, which 150,000 NYC residents rely on every year. Since taking office, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have pushed policy after policy to take away our basic rights and health care, and people—including thousands of New Yorkers—will get hurt in the process.

“Don’t be fooled—this is part of a larger, coordinated agenda to undermine sexual and reproductive health and to keep women and people with low incomes from accessing the care and resources they need and deserve, and from fully participating in society. It’s horrendous actions like this that have led to a historic grassroots movement fighting back all across the country. Planned Parenthood of New York City will never stop serving our patients, and we will never stop fighting for birth control and abortion access for everyone.”

The Trump-Pence administration issued a new call for funding applications that radically shifts the program's priorities that interfere with access to quality care and information under the program:

First, the new guidelines penalize comprehensive reproductive health care providers and make it harder for people to access high-quality reproductive health care under the program. The guidelines:

  • Block patients from going to expert reproductive health care providers, and instead pushes them to go to facilities that emphasize abstinence-only and don’t offer the full range of birth control methods, like IUDs or the birth control shot.
  • Open the door to allow anti-abortion counseling centers’ to participate in the program.

Second, the new guidelines are clearly designed to roll back access to the most effective forms of birth control. In a major shift in priorities, the call for applications:

  • Removes references to Quality Family Planning recommendations, the national standard of clinical care for family planning services issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs.
  • Eliminates references to ensuring access to all 18 FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Instead a reference to fertility awareness methods like the rhythm method or calendar method — appears six times, but the term “Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC),” the most effective methods of birth control that have been growing in popularity, doesn’t appear once.

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 gynecological 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 who historically face more barriers to care and are less likely to have health insurance. Women of color rely on the Title X program at higher rates than white women. Out of the four million family planning clients which 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.

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. Indeed, Title X currently ensures that women can choose from the full range of birth control options — including IUDs, implants, the pill, the patch, the ring, condoms, 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.

 

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Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of sexual and reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Providing more than 100,000 patient visits annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer sexual and reproductive health services, including gynecological care, birth control, cancer screening, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV prevention, testing and counseling, transgender hormone therapy and vasectomy. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.