Fund Title X

As many of you know, the U.S. Congress needs to vote before Friday on how or whether to fund the federal government. One of the most contentious issues in the budget bill is the Title X family planning program. There is a lot of misinformation about Title X and how Planned Parenthood uses Title X money. I’d like to clarify a few things:

Cutting Title X is not going to save the government any money. Every $1 spent in family planning services saves $4 in future federal and state spending, according to the Guttmacher Institute — a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education.

Federal money cannot be used for abortion. The Hyde Amendment, which has been attached to appropriations bills since 1976, makes sure of that.

Planned Parenthood health clinics nationwide are audited annually by independent auditors. No matter what you read in the news or see on protesters’ signs, Planned Parenthood does not use federal money for abortions.

Title X funding does not cover all of the family planning services Planned Parenthood provides to low-income families. Therefore there is not any Title X money left over to sneak into other budgets, as some would have you believe. Planned Parenthood earns or raises the rest of the money they need to fund affordable family planning services including birth control, cancer screenings, and HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing.

If people truly want to reduce the number of abortions in this world, they should be contacting their senators telling them to make sure they fund Title X and vote against any appropriations bill that eliminates Title X funding. Write or call your senators as soon as possible.

Marina Lindsey

Juneau

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