You’ve probably heard it on the news—the U.S. House is playing politics with women’s health, working to zero out Title X family planning funds. The fact is, Title X is a common sense program that has historically been supported by both parties. Every year this program provides access to affordable family planning services and basic, preventive health care and education and information to more than 52,000 patients per year in Minnesota.
The Title X family planning program began in 1970 as a bipartisan commonsense approach to ensuring that all Americans have access to contraceptive services and other preventive health care. For almost 40 years, Title X has been the nation’s only program dedicated solely to reducing unintended pregnancy by providing contraceptive and related reproductive health care services to low-income women. In fact, Title X supports six in ten family planning health centers in the United States.
These funds make it possible for Minnesotans struggling to make ends meet to access birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, pelvic exams and pap tests, high blood pressure checks, diabetes and anemia screening, testing and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. They support Well-Woman Care programs to encourage smoking cessation, reduce alcohol abuse, promote a healthy diet and protect against domestic abuse and sexual violence. And they support community education programs to prevent unintended pregnancy and the spread of STIs.
Planned Parenthood has 26 clinics in Minnesota providing nearly 64,000 women, men and their families with affordable family planning services and comprehensive sexuality education. The typical Planned Parenthood patient is a woman in her twenties who is at or below the federal poverty level (annual income of less than $11,000). Almost half are uninsured and most need help with their payment. Without us, they would be in even more difficult circumstances. Our patients last year included:
- A woman in northern Minnesota with a compromised immune system who needed screening for cervical cancer.
- A self-employed, uninsured man in central Minnesota who needed testing and treatment for STIs.
- A drug rehabilitation patient in western Minnesota who needed birth control to prevent an unintended pregnancy.
- A domestic abuse victim in southern Minnesota who needed treatment for an infection and referral to a shelter.
What happens to these people if the House succeeds in eliminating funding for Title X?
Title X has a long and remarkable history. It has enabled millions of women to plan their pregnancies, to prevent unintended pregnancy, and to receive vital reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood will continue to work to preserve Title X and ensure that Minnesotans have access to the health care they need, no matter the ability to pay.