We need to support a new rule issued by the Obama administration to protect the funding of Planned Parenthood from recent conservative assaults on women's reproductive rights.
For the past year, Planned Parenthood has been enduring relentless attacks from members of the Religious Right and their elected representatives. Theocrats are now seeking to not just deny low-income women access to abortion on religious grounds, but access to contraception.
The new rule, which the Department of Health and Human Services proposed early in September, mandates that state governments cannot withhold Title X federal family planning money from Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortion services. Title X is the only federal program focused solely on providing family planning and related preventative services. In 2015, more than 4 million individuals received services through more than 3,900 Title X-funded health centers. Planned Parenthood has served about a third of these patients using $70 million a year received in Title X grants to subsidize contraception, and screenings for cancer and sexually transmitted infection. Title X does not allow any money to be used to pay for abortions. In spite of this, 11 states have already voted to block public funds from Planned Parenthood.
The administration's proposed rule will stop the assault against access to contraception for low-income women. The proposal is under attack by anti-abortion politicians intent on weaving their conservative religious ideologies into civil law. The rule would make politically and religiously motivated efforts to block women from accessing contraceptive care at Planned Parenthood a violation of federal law.
As freethinker and contraceptive rights crusader Margaret Sanger put it, "No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."
After a 30-day comment period, ending on Oct. 7, the Department of Health and Human Services will reach a final decision on the rule based on public input. Your opinion counts! Please comment now!
Please comment to the Department of Health and Human Resources to vocalize your support for the proposed rule to protect the funding of Planned Parenthood and other Title X providers.
Click on the "Comment now" link on the right-hand side of the proposed rule document.
Feel free to utilize the talking points below, or cut and paste this message:
Please approve the proposed rule to make it against federal law for states to withhold Title X federal family planning money from Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortion services. This rule will ensure low-income women have access to affordable health care. The right to privacy is enshrined in our Constitution. Access to contraception should not be considered controversial, or be subject to the whims of the Religious Right.
Title X services have helped prevent millions of unwanted pregnancies. This rule is necessary to protect women against state-adopted policies that would reduce the access and effectiveness of Title X services and ultimately have a disastrous impact on women's health and lives.
Note: This is called a public comment period because your comments will be posted without change at the governmental website.
- Obama Moves to Protect Planned Parenthood Funding, Permanently
- Obama Introduces New Rule to Prevent States From Defunding Abortion Providers
- Obama Administration Protects Access to Health Care For Millions of People
Read details on the proposed rule here.