Refinery29 reporter Mi-Anne Chan recently took to the streets of New York City to ask people whether they know what Title X is. Initially, what she heard was crickets. But when she asked passersby why birth control is important to them, and how they have benefitted from free or affordable healthcare, many people had a story. (You can watch them all in the video below.)
"Birth control is important to me because I have the right to choose when I would like to have children and if I would like to have children, and that is my choice," said one young woman.
"My sister actually went to Planned Parenthood to get her IUD, and she got it for free," another young woman said.
Title X is a federally funded program, established back in 1970, that serves about 4 million people a year. It provides over $250 million to health clinics that offer affordable birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing, and more. Title X provides free and affordable services to those who need it most, like young people, LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and low-income families. Planned Parenthood has been a major part of the program since its start, now serving about 40% of people who get healthcare through Title X clinics.
The Trump administration is trying to dismantle Title X by prohibiting taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from talking about abortion with patients or referring them to abortion providers. A federal judge recently blocked this so-called Title X "gag rule," which was set to take effect on May 3. While this is great news for patients and doctors, it's only temporary and Planned Parenthood is continuing to fight the case in court.
"Because of our commitment to ethical patient care, it would be impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue participating in the program with the gag rule fully in place," according to a statement from Planned Parenthood. "For decades, the rules of Title X have been clear and repeatedly affirmed and mandated by Congress: Patients receiving information about their pregnancies cannot be kept in the dark about how to access health care, including abortion. The Trump-Pence administration ignored this law and pushed the gag rule forward anyway."
Go to ProtectX.org to learn more about how you can help millions of people keep their access to free and affordable healthcare, and check out the video below.