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Title X & The Gag Rule

Title X: America’s ONLY federal funding program for family planning services.

Title X is the nation’s federal funding program for family planning services. For more than 40 years, this program has played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for low-income or uninsured individuals. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Title X funding CANNOT be used for abortion services. The program is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs (OPA).

In 2016, OPA provided $13,29,300 for services for 198,825 patients in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Planned Parenthoods make up 13% of the 191 PA health centers that participate in Title X, but served 36% of patients in 2016.

Gag Rule

The domestic gag rule essentially prohibits health care providers in the United States from discussing abortion with their patients if they receive Title X Family Planning Program money.

The domestic gag rule announced on May 22, 2018 includes:

  1. blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood under Title X;
  2. prohibiting Title X providers from referring for abortion; and
  3. removing existing Title X protections that ensure women have full, honest information about all of their pregnancy options, including abortion.
  4. deleting the requirement that contraceptive methods provided by Title X projects be “medically approved.”
  5. stating that Title X projects do not have to provide every effective and acceptable method of family planning.


​​​​​​​Key facts about Title X and Planned Parenthood:

  • According to latest estimates, Planned Parenthood health centers from around the country served four in 10 Title X patients (41 percent) in 2015, despite only accounting for 13 percent of Title X centers.

  • More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are located in medically underserved areas.

  • Research has shown that Planned Parenthood consistently outperforms other publicly funded providers, including FQHCs, when it comes to meeting the family planning needs of people across the United States by:

    • Providing the full range of birth control methods on-site;

    • Filling longer-term contraceptive prescriptions; and

    • Offering shorter wait times and expanded health center hours.

  • Community health centers will not be able to fill the huge void if Planned Parenthood is blocked from Title X program, dealing a major blow to health care access for thousands of low-income people across the country.

  • Community health centers themselves say there is no way they could fill the gap if Planned Parenthood health centers were no longer allowed to serve these patients.

  • The idea that other providers could absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients has been resoundingly dismissed by experts. In fact, Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, called the idea “ludicrous."

  • Across the entire community health center network, nearly half of sites served fewer than 10 contraceptive patients annually.

  • In fact, many of the lists of “replacement” providers don’t even provide reproductive health care. In Louisiana, the state list of alternative providers included dentists and nursing homes. In Florida, it included school nurses. In Ohio, it included food banks
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Links:

Guttmacher Institute: Beyond the Rhetoric: The Real-World Impact of Attacks on Planned Parenthood and Title X August 3, 2017

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association: The Title X Family Planning Program in Pennsylvania November 2017

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association: Title X in Pennsylvania Improving Public Health and Saving Tax Dollars December 2017