Trump’s Latest Attack On Planned Parenthood Could Be The Start To Our Sentence As Handmaids So Pay Attention
The Trump administration just got a step closer to winning the battle in policing women’s bodies and reproductive systems in the United States. On Wednesday, August 20, it was reported that Planned Parenthood announced it would withdraw from Title X, essentially losing out on about $60 million a year in federal funding.
Planned Parenthood’s decision wasn’t an easy one to make, and the Trump administration played a role in essentially forcing their decision.
Planned Parenthood’s decision to withdraw from Title X and its funding came in response to a new Trump administration rule that refuses to allow Title X clinics from referring their patients for abortions.
Earlier this year in July, a rule preventing taxpayer-funded clinics from referring patients for abortions went into effect immediately on the 15th of that month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services immediately began enforcing Trump administration’s “Protect Life Rule.”
Now, the Trump administration’s latest attack on women’s reproductive rights will, according to CNN, likely increase abortion rates. It will lead to unwanted and unintended pregnancies due to a lack of accessible birth control, and it could even push women to seek unsafe methods and practices of abortion.
On August 19, Planned Parenthood tweeted about the Trump administration forcing them out of the Title X program, “our nation’s program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40% of patients.” Planned Parenthood isn’t, however, throwing in the towel or backing down without a fight.
“Being forced out of Title X won’t stop us from referring for or performing abortions, prescribing birth control, or any of our other services,” Planned Parenthood shared in a tweet.
“Our doors are open and we are fighting against the gag rule.”
Despite this, Planned Parenthood is still working on making sure that patients who benefit from their services can still maintain access to the healthcare benefits they need. But you can help, too, and continue to fight for women’s reproductive rights and for women to have full control of our bodies.
Here’s what you should know about the Trump administration’s latest attack on our bodies and what it means for women.
First things first: what is Title X?
Title X is a federal family planning program that helps women, particularly those that are low-income, have access to birth control and a number of other reproductive health services since its inception nearly 50 years ago. According to USA Today, about 4 million patients nationwide benefit under Title X “which distributes $260 million a year in family planning grants to clinics.” The program is also responsible for filling the gaps in health care access including cancer screenings, STD testing, annual exams for low-income communities who can’t afford it or don’t have health insurance. Contrary to what the Trump administration might lead you to believe, though. Title X does not fund abortion care.
Now, who will this new Title X rule really affect?
For nearly a century, Planned Parenthood has been one of the nation’s leading providers of affordable health care for women, men, and young people. One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center and their health centers have helped an estimated 515,000 women prevent unintended pregnancies and 216,000 abortions every year. It’s no doubt that the resources Planned Parenthood is able to provide are imperative to a woman’s choice to her body and her wellbeing.
But this latest rule will threaten that. However, Planned Parenthood’s latest decision to no longer receive Title X funding doesn’t mean that clinics are closing. This just means that Planned Parenthood means business and is not willing to comply with the Trump administration’s dangerous policing of women’s bodies. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson emphasized in a news conference that they hope their withdrawal will push Congress to block the gag rule.
According to USA Today, the new Title X includes a ban on abortion referrals by clinics that are taxpayer-funded, financial separation from facilities that provide abortions, and designating abortion counseling as optional instead of the standard practice.
Now, low-income women will be the ones to feel the effects of this latest rule.
This community relies on Title X the most and according to Cosmopolitan’s breakdown of how it will affect low-income women, they’ll have to look for less accessible ways to undergo routine care like obtaining birth control, STI testing, and annual exams. Because even though Planned Parenthood is keeping its doors open and still operating, it might become even harder for them to provide these services for free anymore to patients who can’t afford them. For example, in states like Utah and Minnesota, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X provider so women in these states will have even fewer options.
“It will simply be impossible for other health centers to fill the gap,” said Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson to Cosmopolitan magazine. “Wait times for appointments will skyrocket, and people will delay or go without care.”
This isn’t the end of this fight. This is how other states and organizations are helping and how YOU can help, too.
Planned Parenthood already sued the Trump administration in March in an effort to block this rule and the American Medical Association also was a plaintiff in the lawsuit. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals still allowed the rule to take effect and prohibit clinics from providing abortion referrals to Title X patients.
Maine Family Planning and more than 20 other states have also joined Planned Parenthood in challenging this new rule. Further, governors in states including Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington have all said they will withdraw from Title X if this new gag rule is implemented.
It’s important that we don’t let the Trump administration deter us from continuing the fight against our basic human rights, specifically the rights of women’s bodies. So while you brush up on your knowledge about Title X and what it means for women, you should also share that knowledge with others and motivate them to give back as well.