From the beginning of President Trump’s administration, Trump has vowed to “defund Planned Parenthood.” Earlier this year, Trump and his administration began to make good on that promise announcing their proposed Gag Rule. On March 4, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its altered Title X.
Title X is intended to provide funding to centers who aide in comprehensive sexual education, family planning, contraceptive care and other sexual health services. Trump’s gag rule proposes five new provisions to Title X with the intention of taking funding away from foundations that provide anything other than natural family planning methods. The two most altering provisions are section 1001 and section 1008.
Section 1001 — Title X Services establishes what facilities may receive federal funding under Title X. The newest provision of section 1001 states that facilities will receive funding if they provide “natural family planning methods, infertility services, and services for adolescents.” The policy further stated that such facilities must “not include abortion as a method of family planning.”
Section 1008 — The Prohibition of Abortion, is an extension of Section 1001, explicitly stating “none of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The remaining three provisions are Section 1003 — Title X Training, Section 1004 — Title X Research and Section 1005 — Title X Information and Education. While all three sections do shift Title X’s focus from comprehensive sexual education to strict family planning facilities, none of the aforementioned sections make as significant of an impact on reproductive rights.
Ultimately 4 million people across the nation relied on Title X, while Planned Parenthood cared for 41 percent of those patients. Since the unveiling of the Trump-Pence gag rule, five states have lost complete funding for their Planned Parenthood programs. Meanwhile, close to 2 million dollars has been donated to anti-abortion and anti-contraception groups.
Last year, 1.6 million people relied on care from Planned Parenthood. The annual report released by Planned Parenthood in January 2018 said that 48.7 percent of their care was STI testing and treatment, followed by contraceptive care at 27.1 percent. Abortion services were only 3.4 percent of the delivered services. The report also breaks down the organization’s sources of revenue — 34 percent of their annual revenue is derived from government health services, grants and reimbursements.
On the frontlines of Utah’s fight to protect reproductive rights is Family Planning Elevated (FPE), which works to expand access to contraceptives in Utah. Their mission states “Family Planning Elevated expands access to contraceptive education, training and services for Utah providers and patients, in an effort to improve the intended pregnancy rate across the state of Utah.” They do so by “helping clinics increase their capacity to provide contraceptive care to individuals in their community by training health care providers on comprehensive contraceptive services, including IUD and implant provision.” FPE’s website not only provides resources to the patients of Utah but their providers as well. They also provide resources for reproductive justice and hold an annual conference to educate providers on comprehensive contraceptive care.
Dr. Kyl Meyers, the program director for FPE, said, “The Trump-Pence gag rule fundamentally takes away financial incentive to provide medically accurate information to Title X patients.” Furthermore, Salt Lake City Council candidate Shireen Ghorbani, Ghorbani stated, “As we see rollbacks on access to women’s healthcare, we must contact our local representatives to remind them how important reproductive rights are.”