After several GOP-controlled state legislatures voted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood states operators turned to the Federal Title X program to fund the facilities in order to continue providing reproductive health services to low income women.
Abortion advocates and Republican politicians accuse the president of trampling on state rights but the Title X program was enacted over forty years ago under President Richard Nixon in 1970 as part of Public Health Service Act. Planned Parenthood clinics have only begun to use federal money after states stopped contracting with Planned Parenthood.
The Huffington Post spoke with Paige Johnson, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood clinic in Durham, about how politics has played into what advocates see a purely a health care issue.
“When you talk to these people that work in the federal family planning program, the people that work behind the scenes reading these grants, they’re public health advocates. They want people to receive the best care possible, and they’d like politics removed from it,” Johnson said.
Some anti-abortion advocates have argued that Planned Parenthood permits minors to make critical health decisions without the knowledge and consent of a parent. However, funds appropriated for Title X grants are only available to organizations that encourage minors to have their families participate in the family planning process. The program also requires that counseling be provided to minors on how to refrain from engaging in sexual activities with other minors.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which funds these grants, worked directly with Planned Parenthood throughout both the Bush and Clinton administrations. Title X is the only federal grant program designated solely to providing individuals with complete family planning and preventive health related services. The program was enacted to provide access to contraceptive services and information to all patients, but by law priority is given to low-income families.
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