Long gone are the days of bipartisan support for important funding measures that impact the country as whole, like in 1970 when Nixon, yes, Nixon, passed the Title X Program. Under the Public Health Services Act, Title X meant to aid low-income and uninsured people gain access to family planning and health services. This included but was not limited to abortions. Planned Parenthood, which emerged as the leader of these services, also provided breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy and fertility aid, and STD tests and treatment—concerns that affect people of all backgrounds, men and women alike.
Lately, given the new political eco-system, bipartisanship has forced people on the right to malign Planned Parenthood and its affiliates in a baby-with-the-bathwater sort of way; shutting down entire clinics because of the one procedure they oppose—abortion.
According to the Federal Register, “In 2015, more than 4 million individuals received services through more than 3,900 Title X-funded health centers.”
Aware and apprehensive of the new super-Republican government that is about to form on January 20th, Obama issued a rule on Wednesday that is, according to The New York Times, meant to, “Require state and local governments distribute for services related to contraception, cancer screenings, STD’s and pregnancy care regardless of whether they perform abortions.” As it currently stands, Title X funds are not available by law to programs where abortion is a method of family planning, so there's an ostensible financial allocation system within Planned Parenthood whereby abortions are funded privately and other services publically.
Being the largest provider of such services, Planned Parenthood is the recipient of a large sum of this money, and that is being threatened in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood completely. Though as The New York Times illuminates, “half their affiliated clinics do not perform abortions.”
But burying Planned Parenthood, as is evidentially the rights’ want, will put an undue burden on other general health clinics; the kind already struggling to keep up with everyday demands and sicknesses. The New York Times states, “Groups representing those centers disputed that... [they] are often unable to provide the full range of family planning services that Planned Parenthood offers.”
The good news is, if passed, two days before Trump steps into office, this decision will be extremely challenging to overturn.
If you are interested in donating to Planned Parenthood, please click here.
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Samantha Bee Trashes Ohio's New Heartbeat Abortion Law Jen Pitt, originally from Brazil, is a Brooklyn based writer and performer. She covers feminism, arts, and Brazilian culture.