Sunday, June 28, 2015

The bill to eradicate Title X

Since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2011, they have been trying to eliminate the highly effective federal family-planning program known as Title X. In 1970, Title X was enacted by an overwhelming majority in Congress. This program gives millions of lower-income and rural women access to contraception, counseling, cancer screenings, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. 
In 2011 they tried to shut down Title X completely, but were only able to extract significant cuts from this already underfunded program. Now, a House subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services proposed to eliminate all of the Title X funding from the 2016 spending bill. The subcommittee voted to double abstinence-only education, despite the fact that it has been associated with higher rates of teen pregnancy. Since Title X is a federal program, it cannot provide any funding for abortions, yet it is caught up in the nation’s abortion wars.
The Title X grants actually help prevent unwanted pregnancies. The program helped avoid about 363,000 abortions in 2012. Also, the public money spent on family planning reduces costs related to pregnancy, birth and infant care, sexually transmitted diseases, and cervical cancer. The bill to eradicate the program takes aim at some of the most vulnerable women in the country. These women are poorer and typically live in rural areas with little access to health care.