In addition to trying their damnedest to eliminate abortion rights, the GOP has also launched an attack against Title X.
What is Title X? Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) explains:
The Title X Family Planning program, which Nixon signed into law in 1970, is one of this country’s great achievements in public health and social justice. Clinics funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women’s lives through cancer screening, immunization and blood-pressure testing. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money — $3.74 for every dollar invested.
And yet, for some reason, the GOP wants to eliminate ALL federal funding for Title X, via Rep. Mike Pence‘s Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. The irony, though, is that not one penny of Title X funding is EVER used to provide abortions, since federal funding for abortion is not legal. The GOP just loves naming bills in such a way to confuse the public.
So what does this mean for women? It means that women who have no insurance or are low-income and depend on Title X-funded clinics for their primary health care — such as annual Pap Smears, breast cancer screenings, STI treatments and contraception — will be shit out of luck.
Planned Parenthood in particular would be decimated if this bill passes. Explains Richards,
Title X’s bedrock role in women’s health care is due in large part to Planned Parenthood — the sole provider of Title X services in some states. Our health centers provide family planning care to more than a third of the five million women served by Title X, and our services play a critical role in reducing unintended pregnancies, decreasing infant mortality, and detecting cancer at early stages, when there is a better chance of treating effectively. Altogether, Planned Parenthood’s 800-plus health centers provided care to about three million patients in 2009. The services they delivered include not only family planning and contraception but also breast and pelvic exams, cervical cancer screening, testing for sexually transmitted infections, post-partum care, and community initiatives to help teens stay healthy.
By de-funding Title X services and trying to eliminate the right to abortion, the GOP is effectively launching a large scale attack against women. Not just against their uteruses, but against their overall health and livelihoods.
Here’s the million dollar question of the day: If the GOP wants to get the economy on track, HOW does de-funding Title X help meet this goal?
I feel like a broken record, but this bears repeating: TAKE ACTION! Contact your reps and tell them to save Title X. And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to tweet about how PPFA has helped you — or women you know — with the hashtag #ThanksPPFA.