On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a budget resolution that eliminates Title X, a program that gives low-income women access to family-planning services. Taking the biggest hit is Planned Parenthood--the nation's largest reproductive-health-services provider--which would lose all of its $75 million in federal funding should the proposed amendment pass a Senate vote.
Title X money helps pay for birth control, STD screening and treatment, breast- and cervical-cancer testing, prenatal care, sex education, and vasectomies. According to Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC), one in three women in Orange County have used such services some time in their lives.
In January, Representative Mike Pence (R-Indiana) introduced the bill, co-sponsored by 168 representatives including Orange County's John Campbell, Gary Miller and Ken Calvert.
Pence stated that the amendment "would ensure that abortion providers are not subsidized with federal tax dollars" in a speech on the House floor on Feb 8. However, under the Hyde Amendment, federal dollars are already prohibited from being used for abortions.
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California Senator Barbara Boxer categorized the vote as "an extreme attack on women's health that threatens the health and lives of millions of women. It would mean less family planning and more unplanned pregnancies and abortions. It would mean fewer cancer screenings and more devastating outcomes for women and their families," according to a press release.
In the past year, PPOSBC provided family-planning counseling and reproductive-health services to more than 71,300 women and men. This includes 15,100 cervical-cancer screenings; 35,790 breast exams; 1,580 HPV vaccines; and 20,180 screenings for HIV, STIs and other infections.
Out of the 127,490 visits to the clinics last year, 5 percent were for emergency contraception and 7 percent were for abortion care, whereas 46 percent were for well-woman and family planning.
"In passing this vote, the House has done grave harm to women's health. It is difficult to understand why people who say they are opposed to abortion would do so much to undermine the family planning and contraception that helps prevent the need for it," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, in a statement.