A proposed rule change in the Department of Health and Human Services removes Title X funding from clinics that offer a full range of reproductive health care, regardless of the private sources of funding for those clinics. If doctors in clinics that accept Title X funding so much as inform patients where abortions are available, the clinic can lose its federal funds.
For families living on the edge of poverty, as is true of nearly two-thirds of Title X patients, an unplanned pregnancy can squelch their aspirations. If free or low-cost services are no longer available, these patients will have few options; the effect will be immediate for their families and will be felt throughout society as poor health and unplanned pregnancies put pressure on the welfare system, weaken families, and reduce the number of skilled and healthy members of the work force.
Thanks to access that Title X funding provides for affordable reproductive services, unplanned pregnancies are now at a 30-year low, particularly among teenagers and low-income women. They are thus able to stay in school and join the work force, becoming better wives and mothers and skilled workers in their maturity.
Congress is currently proposing cuts in programs that support the health and nutrition of children in low-income families, CHIP, SNAP, and the Affordable Care Act, and requiring that Medicaid recipients file monthly statements of their work status. Now reduce family planning services available to poor families and you have a recipe for a permanent underclass of citizens without hope for a better life.