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Here at LPJL we are all about abortion. Destigmatizing abortion, abortion access, independent abortion clinics. We love abortion! But today’s big Title X announcement out of the White House doesn’t just cripple abortion providers: IT HURTS EVERYONE! So… before we talk about abortion (which, again, did we mention, is great) let’s talk about what ELSE is at stake with this huge announcement out of the White House.

Title X is federal funding for family planning. Let’s just be real: nothing in this administration’s policies make it clear they have any idea what “family planning” means. They’re hellbent on cutting funds to places that ACTUALLY promote family planning in some kind of misguided vendetta against the “abortion industry” (the only industry they don’t effing love). It wasn’t enough the HHS is promoting the 1960s-level delusion known as “abstinence-only education,” now places that provide birth control (including, but not limited to Planned Parenthood) are going to have to completely change their business operation or have their funding gutted.

Here’s what the announced Title X funding changes means:

  1. Places that PROVIDE abortion care cannot receive federal money through Title X. Even if a small percent of their services are abortion care, even if they also provide cancer screenings, nope, no money, if abortions are part of what they do.
  2. Doctors can’t even REFER patients to places that provide abortions unless the patient explicitly states that they’ve already made up their mind about wanting to terminate the pregnancy.

This policy will, plain and simple, hurt patients. Clinics will have to close (or adapt and separate their abortion services from their other services) and this will mean patients can’t be cared for. This is effectively cutting off a huge chunk of what “family planning means” FAR BEYOND abortion. It is making birth control access harder, preventive care services more difficult to obtain for people in need, and it is cruel.

Here’s how the policy defines family planning  the voluntary process of identifying goals and developing a plan for the number and spacing of children and the means by which those goals may be achieved.” Here’s how it proposes doing that “These means include a broad range of acceptable and effective choices, which may range from choosing not to have sex to the use of other family planning methods.” CHOOSING NOT TO HAVE SEX CANNOT BE THE MAIN METHOD OF FAMILY PLANNING. COME THE FUCK ON. Contraceptives are mentioned later as an option, in a parenthetical that also includes… wait for it… pulling out (“other fertility awareness-based methods”).

This policy is just so far removed from the real world it’s sickening, and it’s gonna get people hurt. If you’re mad as hell and want to do something about it join the Planned Parenthood Action Fund at the Rally for Our Reproductive Health, this Thursday in NYC!