The Trump administration’s policy barring physicians from referring abortion services to not having any of it. As of this past Monday, Planned Parenthood is withdrawn patients has officially gone into effect, and Planned Parenthood using from Title X so that it can continue to provide essential and safe care to its patients, many of whom do not have access elsewhere to the services that they require.
Planned Parenthood has described the new policy as a “gag rule” that is forcing it out of the program, which provides $60 million each year to the organization. “Today, the Trump admin is forcing us out of the Title X program — our nation’s program focused on family planning, of which we serve 40% of patients,” they tweeted. “This is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood and on our health and rights, and we will not stand for it.”
The Department of Health and Human Services has refuted the idea that Planned Parenthood has been forced out, accusing the organization of “abandoning its obligations.”
Though Planned Parenthood is in a position to take a vocal stance on the new policy, they aren’t the only ones who have contested the restriction on abortion referrals. The American Medical Association also considers the gag rule a violation of medical ethics and has always been opposed to government interference in health care.
The Latinx community is particularly vulnerable to cuts to Planned Parenthood, whose affiliates serve over half a million Latino patients each year; the clinics also serve almost 400,000 patients who identify as Black. There are several factors that account for why Latinos make up such a significant proportion of Planned Parenthood’s patients, according to the organization. For one thing, the Latino demographic is the most uninsured in the country, when compared to other ethnic groups.
Another barrier is the cost. Voto Latino tweeted that the administration’s gag rule is “ugly af,” citing the impact that Planned Parenthood’s loss of funding will have on low-income patients’ access to birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings. “This is an attack on our community. Especially, when you consider that 1 in 3 Latinas can only afford to spend <$10 on birth control per month.”
According to figures cited by the New York Times, more than 1.5 million low-income women have access to reproductive care through Planned Parenthood because of Title X funding. This funding allows patients to have access to screenings for breast and cervical cancers, birth control, as well as STI and pregnancy tests. The new policy is currently being challenged in court by Planned Parenthood, but can continue to stand until the court issues a final ruling.
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