Column: Why Title X cannot change

Dr. Erin Berry, Washington State Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, holds a folder as she listens at a news conference announcing a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's Title X "gag rule" Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Seattle. The rule issued last Friday would impact federal funding for reproductive health care and family planning services. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It is a simple fact that reproductive health care is extremely important for all individuals. All individuals must take care of their reproductive health, which is done with the help of clinics, hospitals and other medical service centers.

One such service includes Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides reproductive health care to many people around the world. Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health care services include access to contraception, providing abortion services, STD testing and many other forms of care.

From these statements alone, it is obvious that Planned Parenthood is an extremely important organization that provides essential care to millions.

However, the care that Planned Parenthood provides is irrelevant to the Trump Administration. Recently, the Trump Administration finalized a draft making it so that any organization providing abortion services to patients will be ineligible for Title X funding.

Title X was established in 1970, and provides birth control and other reproductive health services for millions of Americans, especially those from low-income families.

Title X currently funds Planned Parenthood; without the money coming from Title X, the number of Planned Parenthood locations may have to decrease due to the smaller budget. If this occurs, Planned Parenthood services would not be able to reach as many people, as it currently helps about 41 percent of people aided by Title X. Today, more than four million Americans receive aid from Title X.

If many Planned Parenthood clinics shut down, people will not have the same access to essential health care that they may need. If the health care issue is especially urgent, and people have to travel far to receive the care that they require, the risks would be astronomical.

The Trump Administration claims that abortion does not fall under the umbrella of family planning, and should therefore not be included in any family planning facilities. However, this is just part of the plot to defund Planned Parenthood and make it harder to have abortions.

Defunding Planned Parenthood has been a major goal of the Trump Administration for a long time because many people in the Trump Administration, as well as many of President Trump’s supporters, believe abortions are unethical.

What is unethical is taking away a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body. What is unethical is letting a mother die because the government views her unborn fetus as more important than her life. What is unethical is preventing millions of Americans from receiving the essential reproductive health care services that Planned Parenthood provides.

It is absurd to even consider changing Title X so the funding cannot go towards services that provide abortions. Abortions are a part of reproductive health care, regardless of what the Trump Administration says, and the lives of millions cannot be jeopardized because the Trump Administration does not agree with one aspect of reproductive health care.

For nearly 50 years, Title X has been providing funding to millions of low-income families as well as centers that provide reproductive health care. If Title X is truly changed, after working well for 50 years, there will definitely be repercussions; people will not have access to the care they need.

People everywhere deserve proper access to reproductive health care, regardless of whether or not the center they go to provides abortion services. Changing a statute such as Title X will be detrimental to millions of Americans, especially those from low income families.

Access to reproductive health care for everyone is a human right. The Trump Administration has no right, ethically, to take this human right away from millions of Americans simply because the Administration and many of its supporters do not agree with one aspect of reproductive health care.


Anika Veeraraghav is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at anika.veeraraghav@uconn.edu.