One of the most far-reaching ways we can help people is by empowering them to take charge of their fertility. Unfortunately, the current administration has proposed changes to Title X that could have a devastating impact on people’s ability to access reproductive health care services. Title X is the US’s only federal family planning program and provides services to a large percentage of low income people. Since the restrictions would only apply to Title X recipients, they would disproportionately impact people with low income and people of color. Our health care system already has inequities; this would worsen them. The proposed restrictions on providers’ ability to discuss accurate information about abortion services, for example, only apply to Title X providers, so patients who can pay for privately funded medical services would still be entitled to complete and accurate information, while people who rely on federally funded services (such as Planned Parenthood) would have the information restricted. And many clinics would be unable to keep their doors open. This is appalling.
Chitra Panjabi, SIECUS President & CEO, issued a statement including the line “With this rule, the Administration is sending a clear message: ‘The less money you make, the less your health and rights matter.’ ” See the SIECUS press release here.
We have the opportunity to promote social justice, to help people rise out of poverty and to lessen racism by ensuring that everyone–regardless of income, education, race, or age–has access to reproductive health services. Instead, our leaders are proposing changes that would do the exact opposite.
The mid-term elections are approaching. I urge everyone to vote, to stress to their representatives that this is unacceptable, and to keep questioning candidates about their stand on this issue. Let’s make it known that anyone who supports these harmful proposals will be voted out of office.