February 15, 2017
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against overturning a rule issued last year by the Department of Health and Human Services that protects health care providers from being targeted and defunded for political purposes. In the past year, states have attempted to restrict funding to clinics that participate in the Title X program, which provides grants to public entities and non-profits that offer family planning and cancer screenings in underserved communities. The rule requires eligibility for these programs to be based solely on the provider’s ability to provide health care, and overturning it would undermine the integrity of the Title X program.
“The Title X program is a public health success story – increasing access to care in some of our most vulnerable communities, reducing unwanted pregnancies and the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and saving the federal government in long-term health care costs,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “These services give Americans the freedom to decide for themselves when to start a family and the security that comes with access to screenings for cancer and STDs. Opening the door for extremists to gut these programs would be devastating for millions of families living below the poverty line. The only litmus test we should put on providers is their ability to provide quality and efficient healthcare to Americans.”
Each year Title X-funded clinics provide care to four million Americans, two-thirds of whom live at or below the federal poverty line. Existing federal law prevents Title X funding from being used for abortion services.