In their never-ending efforts to take away abortion rights, right-wing Republicans are relentless in their attacks on Planned Parenthood. For these politicians, punishing abortion providers and scoring points with their anti-woman, extremist base is more important than ensuring that all women and all families have access to high-quality family planning and reproductive health care. It’s stunning hypocrisy from a party that claims to stand for family values, and President Obama has had enough.
The Obama Administration just proposed a new rule that would prevent states from withholding Title X federal family-planning money for reasons other than a provider’s ability to deliver services effectively. It would stop Republican extremists from using politics to deny health care providers like Planned Parenthood Title X funding.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is collecting public comments right now to determine whether it should adopt the new rule. We know that anti-abortion activists are doing everything they can to block it. Can you help flood HHS with messages of support before the comment deadline on October 7?
Tell HHS that you support the new Title X rule to stop right-wing attacks on reproductive health care.
Title X is the only federal program devoted to providing low-income women with birth control, well-woman visits, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.1 In 2015, right-wing Republicans in Congress tried to dismantle Title X because a quarter of its funding goes to Planned Parenthood. Thanks to our activism and the work of our allies in D.C., Title X stayed intact, but Republican extremists continue to put it under constant threat.
It’s important to remember that when anti-abortion extremists attack Title X providers like Planned Parenthood, they’re putting the lives of poor women and women of color at risk. Millions of low-income women rely on publicly funded programs to stay healthy and plan when they start or grow their families. In 2013, 52 percent of women (20 million) in need of contraceptive care relied on publicly funded services and supplies because their incomes were below 250 percent of the federal poverty line or they were younger than age 20.2 Nearly 75 percent of the patients that Planned Parenthood serves live below 150 percent of the federal poverty line.3 Republican extremists aren’t just waging a “war on women,” they’re primarily targeting that war on low-income women and women of color.
We need to protect everyone’s right to access high-quality, affordable health care from anti-woman Republican attacks. President Obama’s new Title X rule will strengthen protections and give HHS the power to prevent right-wing Republicans from imposing their extreme anti-abortion beliefs on millions of women. We can’t afford to miss this opportunity. Speak out now to get new Title X protections on the books before it’s too late!
Tell HHS that you support the new Title X rule and urge them to enforce it as soon as possible.
To be perfectly clear, the devastating Hyde Amendment bars federal money from ever being used to fund abortions, barring rare exceptions. So when Republicans want to punish Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers, they are taking away funds that are meant to provide essential health care. And they don’t just go after Title X. Anti-abortion Republicans in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin have disqualified trusted health care providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding because they offer abortion services.4
In states that strip away federal funds, reproductive health care providers close at alarming rates. Since state level attacks accelerated in 2011, 162 comprehensive reproductive health care providers have closed down.5 Anti-abortion extremists are putting dangerous barriers between women and the care they need. Women must travel hundreds of miles, miss days of work and find childcare to access life-saving health care services like cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment or forgo accessing health care at all.
President Obama’s new rule empowers HHS to protect Title X from being wielded as a political tool by anti-abortion extremists. It will stop right-wing state lawmakers from singling out and denying federal funding to healthcare providers that are proud to offer the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion. We have to make sure our voices are louder than those of the extreme, right-wing and we have to do it now.
Tell HHS that you support the new Title X rule.
Thank you for standing up for access to reproductive health care.
Emily Crockett, “House GOP Tries to Eliminate Public Funding for Family Planning,“ Rewire, June 16, 2015.
"Publicly Funded Family Planning Services in the United States,” Guttmacher Institute.
“By the Numbers,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Feb. 2016.
Lena H. Sun, "Obama officials warn states about cutting Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood," The Washington Post, April 19, 2016.
Esmé E Deprez, “Abortion Clinics Are Closing at a Record Pace,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 24, 2016.