Eliminating Title X Was Just the Tip of the Iceberg

By Brian Dixon, Senior Vice President

Tip of the Iceberg --- Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS
Tip of the Iceberg — Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS

Yesterday, the GOP took its first step to crippling life-saving health care services for low-income women across the country by proposing to eliminate the Title X family planning program.

If passed, this contemptible and counterproductive legislation will prevent nearly 5 million individuals from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

But—surprise, surprise—that’s not all. There are even more appalling provisions in the proposal that require our urgent and dedicated attention.

First is the elimination of all funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. This program provides accurate sex education to young people across the country and has been attributed to the recent and dramatic drop in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate. Slashing it is not only cruel; it’s nonsensical. Last time we checked, helping high school students avoid unintended pregnancies was a good thing.

The bill also includes a provision, known as the Blunt Amendment, which allows employers to opt out of providing coverage for any service that it objects to in employee health plans. The target is clearly the birth control benefit mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Taken together, this is one of the most anti-contraceptive pieces of legislation that we’ve seen in several years. And it certainly gives the lie to the claim that Republicans have the slightest interest in making birth control more widely available to American women and families.

You can be sure that, over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be working to defeat each and every one of these terrible provisions. Because women’s health and wellbeing should never take a backseat to a political agenda.

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