Changes to Title X can impact family planning clinics in Michiana
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- On Friday, the Trump administration announced provisions to the federal grant program, Title X.
Title X was established in 1970 to help low income women get access to a broad range of family planning methods and preventative care like well-woman check-ups and contraception. The program serves four million people per year and was never intended to fund abortion by any means.
Major provisions of the program from the Department of Health and Human Services prohibit funds to “perform, promote refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”
Essentially, the policy now prohibits clinics from providing women referrals for abortion if they want federal funding, and also does not require clinics to provide information about abortion.
Locally, Executive Director of St. Joseph County Right to Life Jackie Appleman says these provisions will help redistribute funds to various local clinics.
“Abortion is not health care because health care promotes and maintains healthy body functioning, and abortion does the opposite. It undoes a natural process, and it ends a life,” Appleman said. “I’m really excited to see these provisions will not be supporting or endorsing, or in any way funding abortion, or a referral because it’s not health care and it’s not needed.”
Some say the final rule is an attack on Planned Parenthood, one of the biggest providers for Title X, and an attack on the health of women.
CEO of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance Amy Hagstrom Miller, says the provisions withhold access to a whole range of health care options and education from low income women.
“It’s absolutely dangerous and it’s terrifying, especially in a country where the option to seek abortion if a woman needs one, is supposedly legal,” Hagstrom Miller said. “The stigma that surrounds this is one of the more damaging side effects. In a community like South Bend, that doesn’t even have a high quality abortion provider anymore, this kind of misinformation and this kind of blocking of the ability to make referrals is only going to harm people in the community even more.”
Appleman says HerMichiana.org lists 200 resources for women, and 15 to 20 of those resources offer free or low cost family planning services.
Hagstrom Miller says that it is high time Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend is given its license to operate and the community with a full range of reproductive health care.
Click to see our previous coverage of Whole Woman’s Health and the proposed abortion clinic in South Bend.