Today, Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) announced that the Trump-Pence administration, through an unethical and dangerous gag rule, has forced PPMI out of Title X, the nation’s decades-old bipartisan program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood of Michigan serves nearly 70 percent of people – more than 42,000 in 2018 alone – who access affordable birth control, STD testing, cancer screenings, and more through Title X.
Statement from Lori Carpentier, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Michigan:
“Planned Parenthood of Michigan has participated in the Title X program since its inception in our state, providing services to hundreds of thousands of people. We have been proud to do this work and have exhibited our commitment to it by stepping in to offer care – often with private resources – when local public health departments have chosen to discontinue programs.
“It was our intention to continue to participate in this program that is critical to the patients we serve and our mission to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care to low-income individuals throughout the state.
“Unfortunately, the new gag rule that is being enforced by the Trump-Pence administration makes it impossible to provide comprehensive care and information to our patients consistent with medical ethics and our evidence-based standards of care. We refuse to let the Trump administration bully us into withholding abortion information from our patients in Michigan. The gag rule is unethical and dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it.
“We are committed to providing compassionate, high-quality health care to people in communities throughout Michigan. These rule changes do nothing to improve the quality of care for patients or make it easier for them to access the services they need – they were intended solely to harm Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers, but it’s our patients who will be most impacted.”
Trump administration officials will continue to insist that other health care providers will simply step in and pick up the slack; the reality is that there is no one else who can step in and provide care of the quality and scale that PPMI does year in and year out.
Planned Parenthood of Michigan is “deprioritized” in the state budget, meaning other health care providers who apply are granted funding before PPMI. Agencies that take part in the Title X program are mostly at capacity. That means the 42,330 patients who accessed care at Planned Parenthood last year using Title X funding may not have somewhere else to go.
Planned Parenthood provides care for the majority of all Title X patients in Michigan and in several counties is the only Title X provider. That means for people in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties, there is no other option for the high quality, low- or no-cost reproductive health care and birth control that Title X providers guarantee.