Earlier this week, the Biden-Harris administration ended the Title X gag rule, which had forced Planned Parenthood of Northern New England out of the Title X program. Title X is the nation’s only federal program dedicated to providing affordable birth control and other reproductive health care to people struggling financially.
When PPNNE was forced out of the Title X program, both Vermont and New Hampshire filled the gap. This year, however, New Hampshire state budget writers did not include this funding to address the gap, even though they were aware of the direct impact the loss of funds would have on patients at these providers.
This federal funding is more important than ever for Granite Staters, because last month a majority of the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to dismantle the New Hampshire Family Planning Program by rejecting state funding — a combined state and federal funding loss of nearly $1 million to PPNNE health centers in New Hampshire.
Title X funding covers services including birth control, cancer screenings, disease testing and treatment, and other preventive health care. PPNNE’s health centers in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire are looking forward to reentering the program sometime next year after April.
Unfortunately, the new rule leaves an opening for Title X providers or grantees to refuse to counsel or refer patients to abortions. This harmful and unnecessary clause could deny a patient accurate and comprehensive health options due to their provider’s personal beliefs.
Statement from Nicole Clegg, Senior VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England:
“We applaud the decision of the Biden-Harris Administration to end the harmful Title X gag rule that forced healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood of Northern New England out of the program. Title X is a lifeline for millions of Americans. It provides critical funding to ensure that no matter your income or insurance coverage, you can get the sexual and reproductive health care you need when you need it. With the gag rule gone, we are eager for New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine providers to reenter the program next year."