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Dismantling of the Title X program
April 5, 2019

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The Trump-Pence administration is once again trying to take away our rights. A domestic gag rule was just finalized that prohibits doctors from providing patients with full information about their healthcare options, including abortion services. It is unacceptable that the government intends to tie the hands of doctors seeking to provide the best possible care and information to their patients. Unfortunately, this administration continues to push government interference into the personal lives of American citizens.

This gag rule would also effectively dismantle the Title X program. Title X provides birth control, cancer screenings and other essential reproductive health care. This restriction is a classist proposition that disproportionately impacts people with lower incomes. Trump's gag rule does nothing to prohibit the affluent from continuing to access every form of reproductive care, instead it disproportionately restricts access for less advantaged individuals.

The 1976 Hyde amendment made it illegal for any federal funds to be used for abortion. This gag rule does nothing except deny cancer screenings, prenatal care, pap smears, STD testing and more to the people who need it most. When it goes into effect, the health of the entire nation will suffer, to provide this administration with a false sense of accomplishment. The Hyde amendment has ensured it is illegal to use federal dollars to fund abortion since 1976, not the president's futile attempts to impress his uninformed, sycophantic base.

Specifically, this rule attempts to block Planned Parenthood from participating in the Title X program. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood sees 41 percent of all Title X patients. Without Planned Parenthood as a health care option, many people would have no alternative. Trump's gag rule puts access to care for many Americans at risk. Health care should not be a privilege.

Allex Benedict

of Shepherdstown

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