Wednesday, December 6

By Stephanie Verdoia, Legal
summer intern

In March, the Trump administration issued new
rules to the Title X program that funds family planning services for people
with low incomes. These changes
forced Planned
Parenthood to withdraw from the program last month, which will result in limiting
health care access for low-income communities across the country. But there is
another problem with the new rules; they will redirect federal money to
organizations that don’t provide the full range of care for patients and refuse
to inform patients of all the birth control options
available to them.

Since the 1970s, crisis pregnancy centers, sometimes called
“limited service pregnancy centers,” have been posing as walk-in medical
clinics for family planning and pregnancy-related care. These so-called
“clinics” claim to provide comprehensive medical care by saying in their
advertisements that they offer “evidence-based medical care” and “all options
pregnancy counseling.”  Their staff often
wear white coats or scrubs and perform quasi-medical services like pregnancy
testing and ultrasound examinations, although they often have no medical
education or training, and thus no business diagnosing anything. The clinics provide
contraception and abortion that is false or misleading — all for the purpose of
delaying a
pregnant person’s decision-making process
until it is too late to terminate the pregnancy. What is particularly alarming is that there are
far more crisis pregnancy centers across the country than there are legitimate
reproductive health clinics.

In recent years, some crisis pregnancy centers
have begun offering medical services beyond pregnancy tests and ultrasounds,
though they still refuse to counsel patients about birth control (other than
the rhythm method) or abortion, or provide referrals for these services — even
at the request of their patients.

The new Trump rules enable these more
“medicalized” CPCs to apply for Title X funding by relaxing the old requirement
that the grant recipients provide comprehensive care to their patients,
including the full range of FDA approved contraceptives. This means that people
who rely on Title X clinics for healthcare may receive less than comprehensive
information and care.  Instead, patients’
medical treatment options will be tailored to align with an extremist politic

Before the Trump Administration issued these new
rules, clinics that received federal funding were required to offer all options
to the pregnant person without promoting one option over another, a practice called
non-directive counseling. Grantees also were required to offer the full range
of “medically-approved” family planning services, including contraception

The new rules prohibit abortion referrals, even
in medically urgent situ
ations and
green lights funding for grantees that offer no family planning options other
than fertility awareness-based methods (basically the rhythm method), which have
a higher risk of pregnancy than birth control pills or the IUD.

Of course, this will cause the greatest harm to those who most rely upon the Title X
program for their basic reproductive healthcare needs, including women with low
incomes, women of color, young women, and LGBTQ people. Over 4 million
low-income, uninsured, and underserved clients have relied on the Title X
program for almost fifty years.

more than 20 states and the American Medical Association are challenging the
new regulations in court, many low-income communities already feel the impact
of the changes. Planned Parenthood served 40% of Title X recipients, and in
states with no backup funding, delays and higher costs in services are already

seeking family planning services deserve to understand all of their options–
regardless of their socio-economic status. Individual autonomy in medical
decision making is a fundamental liberty that the federal government should
protect – not undermine.  These
regulations ensure that only the most privileged of our society will continue
to enjoy access to the care they seek.

Watch the latest episode of The Feisty News Show

Leave A Reply

© 2023 The Feisty News. All Rights Reserved.

Designed by Smartlance