Nearly 900 women’s health clinics lost federal funding due to gag rule

Almost 900 women’s health centers across the country lost federal funds after the Trump administration implemented a “domestic gag rule” to a federal family planning program known as Title X, according to an estimate by Power to decide, an organization that works to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Women of color make up more than half and Latinas over a third of all Title X patients, according to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Lack of funding could affect access to reproductive health services, including breast cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control for more than 8.7 million women living in 390 counties across the states -United.

Paloma Zuleta, director of media relations at Power to Decide, told NBC that any change in the way reproductive health clinics do business will primarily affect low-income women of color – thwarting the program’s goal of family planning known as Title X, which was created to help low-income women.

“If the clinics can’t open earlier or if they can’t meet the late hours anymore because their funding is so different or if they have to fire people,” Zuleta said, “it’s a deterrent for women in have access to health care. that they need.”

the The Trump administration instituted the gag rule two months ago, stating that health clinics cannot receive funds under Title X whether abortions are performed in the facility or whether specialists refer patients to centers where they can have an abortion. The administration made the decision despite the fact that since 1976 federal funds cannot be used to directly pay for abortions under the Hyde Amendment, which excludes abortion from health services offered to low-income people by the federal government.

Ginny Ehrlich, chief executive of Power to Decide, said the gag rule imposed an “ethical dilemma” on clinics providing quality care, leaving some counties “without clinics with Title X funds to meet the needs of women.” .

Clinics have had to choose between stopping family planning consultations or services that include abortion as a viable option and continuing to receive Title X funds or, as Planned Parenthood, opting out of the federal family planning program and continue to offer full services in their facilities while seeking other sources of funding such as donations or private grants.

All clinics receiving Title X funding in Vermont, Maine, Utah, Oregon and Washington withdrew from the federal program, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the power to decide. All five states currently lack Title X clinics.

More than 26 other states have seen a drop in the number of clinics using Title X programs, including Florida, California and New York, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Power to decide.

Impact on services, use of contraceptives

Reproductive justice advocate Estefany Londoño fears that cuts resulting in reduced prevention services such as cervical cancer screenings could hurt Latinas, who have the highest rate of cervical cancer. uterus, depending on the Disease Control Centers and Prevention.

Another ripple effect Londoño predicted is that service costs could rise as health centers have to make up for lost federal funds. “Clinics will become more expensive for low-income women,” she said, and women may have to wait longer for appointments if clinics contract out services.

As the administration seeks to reduce access to abortion, reproductive health experts have found that one of the main factors behind a sharp decline in abortions from 2008 to 2011 was expanding women’s access to better contraceptive and contraceptive services under programs like Title X.

According to a CDC analysis, the use of effective and long-term contraceptives such as IUDs and implants increased from 0.4 percent in 2005 to 7.1 percent in 2013 among the approximately 600,000 low-income adolescents who accessed family planning services through Title X clinics.

Ehrlich said that if the gag rule is not repealed, more women could end up living in “Contraceptive deserts”, or areas that do not have reasonable access to a health center offering full range of contraceptive methods. This means that more women could face unintended pregnancies.

About 19.5 million women already lived in “contraceptive deserts” even before the gag rule was in place, according to Power to Decide.

Londoño criticized the administration’s stance, saying “not talking about abortion does not make it any less legal”.

“This is not a pro-family law,” Londoño added. “It’s about sending a message about ‘putting women in their place’ – starting with not being able to go to a health care provider of their choice.”

The Department of Health and Human Services said it would allocate additional funds to clinics that remained in Title X to try to “fill the gaps in services.” But the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 80 percent of funding went to states that “don’t fill the gaps” left by clinics that left the Title X program.

As clinics grapple with the gag rule, several reproductive health care organizations recently announced new resources.

Planned Parenthood and Power to Decide have set up services to help women get contraceptive delivered at their doorstep and find emergency contraception. Other interactive tools help women find clinics across the country who provide family planning and reproductive health care services.

To pursue NBC Latino at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Catriona

Check Also

Cost of living: families in difficulty are targeted by a quick loan scam

Hardened families are set to lose money in a quick loan scam that has grown …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.