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Why Trump change to Title X funding extends beyond abortion

Sarah Varney:

So, in terms of sources of funding, Title X makes up about 19 percent of the budgets for Title X clinics overall.

So you can imagine that’s going to be a pretty significant loss. Planned Parenthood today on a conference call would not say how they were planning on making up the money. It’s clear that, at least for the short-term, these clinics are not going to close right away.

Most likely, what you will see — I have been talking to people who run these programs in different states around the country today, and what they generally say is that women will start to pay more out of pocket when they go to these clinics.

So, right now, Title X is, by its nature, designed to serve low-income women. There is a disproportionate number of women of color who gets services at these clinics. So, in a sense, many of these clinics might start charging them more to come see their physicians and nurses.

Some of these clinics may be forced to lay off medical staff. And so, therefore, the wait times for accessing these services will be much larger.

And we will also probably see a change in the types of services that women are able to get. So one of the things that’s really been interesting on the last couple years is, after Obamacare came into play, and it mandated that birth control be a covered benefit, so you no longer had to pay a co-pay, many more women started getting these long-acting birth control methods like IUDs, which historically had been quite expensive. They can be up to $700.

So we saw a lot of low-income women moving on to these longer-acting methods of birth control, which are very effective, in some cases almost 100 percent effective. So now you can imagine a woman going to a Title X clinic. She no longer is going to be able to get that reduced price or free price for an IUD.

And then, at the same time, the clinic won’t have the money that it ne to go out and stock those IUDs. So you’re going to end up with a situation where many women will no longer be accessing these kinds of longer-term birth control, which we know have reduced unintended pregnancies and teen pregnancies.

We actually saw this play out in Texas a number of years ago, where we did, in fact, see the unintended pregnancy rate go up. And, in fact, the abortion rate went up there as well.