Save Title X: Deadline July 31

Do you take it for granted that you can go to a doctor and get birth control if you don’t want to get pregnant? Did you ever go to Planned Parenthood? Did you notice that you could get a choice of any method you wanted, and that the provider gave it to you regardless of their religious beliefs?  And that your questions were answered based on medically accurate information?

Please don’t take that for granted. Imagine if that were not the case: if the proposed changes to Title X are enacted, that may not be the case very soon for millions of people that rely on Title X funded clinics, including Planned Parenthood.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) is accepting public comments on the proposed changes until July 31. The changes are horrific and I strongly urge everyone to take this opportunity to make your voice heard AND to spread the word to others.  The proposed changes, which many are referring to as the “Domestic Gag Rule”—because of the impact they’ll have on abortion referrals—will effect so much more, including sexuality education, access to contraception, and access to many other vital health services.  They will disproportionately have a negative impact on the most vulnerable members of our society: youth, people in poverty, people of color, and LGBTQ people, since they are often served by Title X providers and frequently lack access to other providers.

I am well aware that people are busy, and (like me!) often don’t want to take a lot of time on one issue.  It’s so much faster to simply sign a petition, like the ones I have linked to on Facebook.  But, according to the HHS website, comments will be read and considered, and the more specific the better.  Therefore, I’m making an exception to my own rule of keeping things simple for readers and including several links that you might find helpful.

Please help ensure that people in the future continue to have the rights that we’ve enjoyed for so long, rights that generations before us worked so hard to achieve.

The simplest, fastest thing I’ve been able to find is from the National Institute for Reproductive Health.  Copy and paste their suggested comment into the comment box they provide.  You can submit it right from their site.

I’m also attaching other documents you might find helpful.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists President’s Blogis an excellent, concise explanation of the importance of this issue.

Also, more information can be obtained from The Guttmacher Institute.

The entire proposed changes and comment box are here, and you can link to tips for submitting effective comments.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments, or concerns.  And I thank you in advance for anything you choose to do to help ensure that everyone in our society continues to have these fundamental rights.