On Friday, the US Department of Health and Human Services posted an unofficial final rule that will restrict access for millions of people to the Title X Family Planning Program, the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive care. Title X centers see about 4 million patients annually, with an estimated 19 million patients in need of reproductive healthcare.

Public Health Solutions stands firmly against the administration’s decision because not only does it undermines the mission of the Title X Family Planning Program, it will do irreparable harm to the public health of the communities we serve. The following is a statement from Public Health Solutions President and CEO, Lisa M. David:

“In New York City, Public Health Solutions currently administers federal Title X funding to six health centers and 13 service sites, to provide high-quality and comprehensive family planning and preventive health services for over 40,000 New Yorkers. Nearly 67% of these individuals, including adults as well as teens, live below the poverty line, more than half rely on public health insurance programs and almost a quarter lack health insurance altogether.

This ruling is an imposition of catholic health directives that jeopardizes the work of a trusted network of family planning providers built over several decades, by placing religious beliefs over an individual’s basic human right to affordable, high-quality health care. One of the major consequences is that Title X recipients that are currently required to offer a comprehensive range of family planning services will no longer have to, and programs that teach only abstinence and other less effective methods of contraception would become eligible for this funding.

Ensuring access to affordable birth control and medically-necessary preventive and reproductive health care to the millions of individuals that rely on Title X funds, is imperative to our mission of improving public health outcomes and achieving health equity. We remain committed to the vulnerable New Yorkers, especially the scores of low-income women that receive family planning assistance through our and other Title X funded programs, who would feel the most significant impact of these changes.”

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