Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are again proposing to zero out federal Title X family planning funding to health-care providers that serve people with low incomes.
A House appropriations subcommittee Thursday afternoon will begin marking up the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) funding bill purporting to cut “low-priority programs” while investing in “essential health.” The bill axes all funding, about $300 million, for what Republicans on the committee called the “controversial” Title X program.
Republicans have long wielded the appropriations process against Title X. This effort marks the latest House GOP attempt to eliminate the program. The House did not release a draft Labor-HHS proposal the two years in which it escaped the GOP’s wrath.
Title X-subsidized providers serve a diverse population of people with low incomes. Of the four million Title X patients, 30 percent self-identified as Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or American Indian or Alaska Native; 32 percent self-identified as Hispanic or Latino; and 13 percent had limited English proficiency, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data from 2015.
Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million in federal Title X funds, per nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office data from 2015. The health-care organization’s affiliates treat about 1.5 million patients through Title X, according to internal accounting.
The consequences ofguttingTitle X don’t fly with NFPRHA officials.
“The unintended pregnancy rate is at a record low and the rate of teen pregnancy is at a 30-year low. If Title X is eliminated, we will reverse those public health gains,” NFPRHA President and CEO Clare Coleman said in a statement.
“Women will be more vulnerable to STDs and at a greater risk of unintended pregnancy and poor birth outcomes. This subcommittee bill must go no further.”