Planned Parenthood will no longer be accepting over $200 million in federal funding after new rules for receiving the grant states that they cannot offer or discuss any abortion services to their patients.
The family planning and women’s health organization has long used Title X to provide low cost or completely free birth control and healthcare services to women in need. Now, with the loss of that funding, Planned Parenthood’s future seems uncertain at best.
What Is Title X, Anyway?
Title X has been around for 50 years and currently provides over $280 million to various healthcare providers around the US to fund a variety of family planning services, including birth control.
This money is specifically for those with a lower income, those who are under-insured and cannot afford their birth control and family planning services, or those who are completely uninsured.
What Title X doesn’t fund, and has never funded, is abortion services. That is the center of this argument, however.
It is estimated that about 4 million people every year are helped in a variety of ways due to Title X funding.
What Is This New Requirement?
While Title X has never covered abortion services, new rules have been implemented that seem to specifically target Planned Parenthood.
The new rules state that any clinic that receives Title X funding cannot provide or refer patients to any abortion services, except for in extreme medical cases. Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortion services would have to completely separate the two, and healthcare providers working at their offices would be severely limited in how they talk about and offer these services.
Instead of complying with this rule, Planned Parenthood has announced that they will withdraw from Title X funding entirely.
What This Will Mean for Patients
While Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying that they hope to secure alternative funding and do not plan to close any locations as of now, Title X represents a significant amount of money that they no longer have access to.
At the very least, healthcare experts across the country agree that women seeking family planning and basic women’s health services will see an increase in both costs, and wait times for these services.
Rules and changes like this will have the biggest impact on areas with the lowest income, where women cannot afford to pay full price for their birth control.
Pro-life advocates are hopeful that the changes to Title X will open up more funding for religious-based clinics, and facilities that steer pregnant women away from abortions. Most of these organizations, however, do not provide the full range of contraceptive services, unlike Planned Parenthood.