PA Women’s Health Caucus urges Biden administration to restore Title X mandate
HARRISBURG, March 4 – Requesting the restoration of Title X’s mandate to provide comprehensive family planning services, the four co-chairs of the bicameral Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus sent a letter today to Acting Secretary Norris Cochran of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Written and sent in conjunction with various organizations on National #TitleXDayofAction, which marks the two-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s releasing harmful rules for the federal Title X family planning program, the letter from WHC co-chairs Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Montgomery/Delaware, and Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, strongly supports reinstatement of the regulations that governed the Title X program before 2019.
“The first step in rebuilding Title X and upholding the much-needed commitment to expansive access to women’s health is to remove the restrictions imposed by the Trump administration,” the letter states. “By instituting medically unnecessary restrictions that prohibited providers from offering comprehensive healthcare, roughly one in every four Title X providers withdrew from the program and continued to provide real healthcare.
“To make up for lost revenue, providers were forced to cut staff, charge patients more, limit service hours, or close their operations. It is no surprise the number of patients served across the country fell by 21%.”
The co-chairs also pointed out that those with lower incomes and communities of color are disproportionately served by the Title X program, and because those communities have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the limited access to family planning has compounded their negative health consequences.
“Every woman deserves access to a full range of reproductive healthcare,” the letter continues. “Title X family planning services provided necessary medical care to those who otherwise could not access it. These services include contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and breast and cervical cancer screenings. … Reinstating the rules in place prior to 2019 would dramatically increase equitable access to care.”
The Women’s Health Caucus has laid out its priorities and agenda for the 2021-22 legislative session, details of which can be found at https://pahouse.com/WomensHealthCaucus/InTheNews/Opinion/?id=118381.