The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to fundamentally alter the Title X family planning program, which provides care to 4 million low-income people each year. The administration is attempting to undermine access to high-quality preventive health services for low-income people by diverting funds from experienced family planning providers instead prioritizing entities that attempt to convince individuals, regardless of age, that they should not have sex outside of marriage.
The lawsuit challenges a funding announcement recently issued by the Trump administration to determine which entities will get grants to provide this critical care. That announcement unlawfully shifts the program away from its core mission of making contraception and related clinical services available to individuals regardless of their ability to pay instead favoring ideologically driven priorities that are contrary to and impermissible under Title X’s statute and regulations. For example, despite the fact that this is a program designed to make contraception accessible, it fails to mention the word contraception anywhere in the 60-page document, and it eliminates any requirement that grantees adhere to the government’s own clinical standards of care. Similarly, rather than promoting the provision of high-quality care centered on patients’ needs, it favors entities that attempt to convince patients of all ages not to have sex outside of marriage.
For more than four decades, the Title X has made high-quality contraceptive services and related preventive care accessible to low-income people. Title X funds support health centers that provide a range of preventive health services, including breast and cervical cancer detection, screening for sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing, and contraception. This federal program allows providers to serve 4 million low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people and families who would otherwise lack care. In 2015, services provided by health centers that received Title X funding helped women avert 822,300 unintended pregnancies. Without the services provided by Title X-funded health centers, the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate would have been 31 percent higher.
NFPRHA is a national, nonprofit membership organization established to ensure access to voluntary, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive family planning and sexual health services, and to ensure reproductive freedom for all. NFPRHA's Title X grantee members provide high-quality family planning and other preventive health services to over 90 percent of all patients served in Title X-funded health centers.