What is Title X funding and why did Planned Parenthood opt out of it?

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Planned Parenthood announced Monday that it would be withdrawing from a federal program that provided millions of dollars to subsidize reproductive health care because a new rule imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services would ban it from referring clients to abortion providers.

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The organization, which is the largest abortion provider in the United States, said it would not comply with the rules that banned it from referring clients for abortions and additional rules that require both financial and physical separation between facilities funded by Title X and facilities where abortions are performed.

The decision means that Planned Parenthood, which serves 40% of all Title X patients, will lose millions of dollars of federal funding.

What is Title X and what does the change mean for abortion providers? Here’s a look at the funding program and the new rule change.

What is Title X?

Title X is a grant program created in 1970 and administered by HHS. Its mandate is to provide comprehensive family planning services and preventative health services.

The program funds facilities that provide care to lower-income families.

What services are provided under Title X?

These services are available to women under Title X:

Birth control
Contraception counseling
Breast and cervical cancer screenings
Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
Pregnancy diagnosis and counseling

Can men get services through Title X?

Title X also provides services for men who qualify under the program’s rules. Those services include:

Education and counseling
STD testing and treatment
HIV testing
In some cases, vasectomy services

Who is eligible for services at a Title X-funded facility? 

The program is aimed at low-income families. It is implemented through grants to more than 3,500 clinical sites. Those sites include public health departments and non-profit facilities such as Planned Parenthood.

What is the budget for Title X?

In fiscal year 2017, Title X received $286.5 million in funding.

How many people are helped through Title X?

According to HHS, around 6.2 million people – mostly young, female and low income – are served by Title X funds. It is estimated that 20 million qualify for the program.

How many Title X sites are there in the U.S.?

There are 4,000 Title X service sites in the U.S. Planned Parenthood represents fewer than 400 of those sites.

What does the new rule say? 

The first part of the new rule prohibits health care providers serving in Title X-funded institutions from referring patients for abortions.

The second part of the rule requires that health care facilities funded by Title X be financially and physically separated from facilities where abortions are performed.

When does the new rule go into effect?

The part of the rule about referring patients for abortion care went into effect on July 11. The part of the rule on physical separation goes into effect on March 4, 2020.

The rule is being challenged in federal court by more than 20 states, Planned Parenthood and other groups affected by the change.

What did Planned Parenthood choose to do in relation to the new rule? 

Planned Parenthood made the choice to give up Title X funding in exchange for continuing to refer clients for abortions. The decision means they give up about $60 million in Title X funds.

Does that mean Planned Parenthood no longer receives federal funds?

No. Planned Parenthood still gets funding from Medicaid, the government health care program for low-income families. Planned Parenthood receives around $500 million per year from Medicaid according to its 2017-18 annual report.

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