House votes to eliminate Title X

February 23, 2011

Women?s health and family planning clinics would no longer receive federal funds for services such as birth control counseling, treating sexually transmitted diseases, and prenatal care under the budget approved by the U.S. House of Representatives adopted last week.

WASHINGTON – Women’s health and family planning clinics would no longer receive federal funds for services such as birth control counseling, treating sexually transmitted diseases, and prenatal care under the budget approved by the U.S. House of Representatives adopted last week.

The budget eliminates funding for the Title X program of the Public Health Services Act. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research center, about 4.7 million Americans, many of them low income and minorities, get healthcare from clinics funded by Title X. The House’s budget also eliminates $75 million in funding for Planned Parenthood.

Title X, a federal grant program created in1970, provides grants that are administered through state health departments and regional agencies to support family planning programs in 4,500 clinics nationwide. The grants totaled $317 million last year.

Families USA, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-choice America say ending Title X would cut off support for health centers that provide discounted care for low-income patients. Guttmacher estimates that the contraceptive services offered at Title X centers prevent nearly 1 million unwanted pregnancies a year.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, argues that Planned Parenthood has significant income beyond federal funding and shouldn’t be exempt from federal belt tightening. It argues that family planning services should be paid for through vouchers or tax rebates.