Title X Restrictions Face Criticism from Delaware Pro-choice Groups
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE — May 25, 2018
Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services has unveiled a proposed regulation that would reshape Title X. It’s the federal government's only program solely dedicated to family planning services for low-income and uninsured or underinsured individuals regardless of immigration status, many of whom, in the absence of these services, would lack access to health care services at all.
Federal funding can’t be used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk, as proposed by the Trump administration. It would deny money to groups that provide abortions or refer women to abortion providers.
The long-expected restrictions on the Title X grant program were advocated for years by anti-abortion groups. Conservatives view the changes as a way to prevent federal dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.
The Title X Family Planning Program, officially known as Public Law 91-572 or “Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs,” is currently funded at about $286 million annually.
Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars in funds each year. The organization indicated last week it would no longer seek funding under the program if the restrictions were put into place. “The regulation, if it stands as it’s written now, really eliminates Planned Parenthood from being able to provide services to the women of Delaware who are on Title X,” says Ruth Lytle-Barnaby of Planned Parenthood Delaware. They use the family planning money to screen women for cancer and provide birth control, and she said that the proposed rule threatens access to those services for about 5,000 low-income women in the state.
“It is clearly anti-abortion legislation, superimposed on a family planning program," Lytle-Barnaby said. "And that’s just unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for the women in this country.” She added that the rule wouldn’t stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortion services to women that need them.
Before this rule is adopted, there is a public comment period. Currently, the proposed rule is under review, and if adopted, it is also likely to face a court challenge.