What Title X defunding of Planned Parenthood means for students

Though many of us have heard that Planned Parenthood will no longer receive Title X funding, what this means for students may still seem unclear. 

Title X Family Planning Program is a law set in place in 1970 by President Nixon. The program is federally funded with its purpose being to help people receive health care for family planning needs, general wellness and preventative measures.

Planned Parenthood has been receiving Title X funding since the program began under the Nixon administration. Recently the organization made the decision to withdraw themselves from the program’s funding rather than adhere to the new Domestic Gag Rule put in place by the Trump administration. This rule prevents Title X doctors from educating women on safe and legal abortions and how to access them.

This may seem like a win to pro-life supporters however, it does not come without cost. Many people rely on Planned Parenthood for access to health care services such as: birth control, STI treatment, screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and HIV testing. 

Rural communities, young adults and low-income men and women often rely on Planned Parenthood to receive such services.

Contrary to popular belief, Planned Parenthood is not a publicly funded abortion clinic. In fact, many locations don’t even perform abortion services. 

According to their most recent medical service data, only 3.4 percent of services performed by Planned Parenthood were abortion related.

The most common services were for the testing and treatment of STIs, which accounted for over 48 percent. Over 4.5 million people, men and women alike, received affordable help from Planned Parenthood for services relating to STIs. Over half of a million people also received help for cancer related screenings and prevention. 

Due to Planned Parenthood’s defunding, many people will no longer have access to these life-saving services. In many countries, women resort to attempting illegal and unsafe abortions at home. In these cases the women have often died trying to terminate their own pregnancies. 

Abortion is never an easy subject; however, it helps many women. Women whose lives may be threatened by their pregnancy, women who were victims of rape, whether it was incestuous or otherwise, and women who are unable to support a child.

For college students, any number of these reasons could apply. Students that find themselves in this situation may not have the funds or support needed to help guide them. 

Planned Parenthood does not simply promote and perform abortions. They counsel patients and educate them on their options. Whether that is terminating the pregnancy, adoption, or raising the baby themselves. 

Planned Parenthood chose to defund themselves from Title X rather than let it interfere with the care they provide their patients. They were given a choice to either limit their level of care and services, which would hurt their patients, or to lose public funding, which would also hurt their patients. 

Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to privacy and their right to choose, though this choice is not absolute. It simply prevents excessive government interference, which is fairly open to interpretation.

Because of this lack of clarity, Planned Parenthood being defunded is due to excessive government interference. Despite the fact that over 75 percent of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, according to a 2018 Marist Poll.

We are at a time in our lives where we have the potential to create change and make a difference. Defending Planned Parenthood helps men and women throughout the country who receive their care. It may even help you at some point.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to quality health care or even health insurance. Which is why programs like Planned Parenthood receiving government funding is so important. Because for some, it truly can be a matter of life or death.