Key House oversight panel to investigate Trump administration’s efforts to undermine Title X family-planning program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations panel, announced Wednesday that her subcommittee will be holding a hearing next week to investigate the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine the nation’s Title X family planning program.
The announcement comes as the Trump administration moves forward with a new rule it finalized earlier this year to block tens of millions of dollars in family planning funds from going to abortion providers across the country.
The rule, once in effect, would not only prohibit health care clinics that receive Title X funds from providing abortion services, it would also prohibit them from referring patients to receive those services elsewhere.
“The Title X family planning program has played a critical role in the lives of Americans for nearly 50 years,” said DeGette, who also serves as co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus. “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has instituted changes that undermine the success of Title X and will imperil the health and wellbeing of millions of patients, especially low-income women, who rely on the program.”
Title X was established in 1971 to ensure that all women in the country have access to birth control and other family planning services. Approximately four million people currently rely on Title X-funded health centers for basic preventive health care such as Pap tests, breast exams and HIV tests.
Opponents of the administration’s efforts to block Title X funding from abortion providers say it will force many health care providers to make an impossible choice between continuing to receive the federal funding they have come to rely on, or helping their patients exercise their constitutionally-protected right to reproductive care.
Those opposed to the rule also argue that it will disproportionately hurt minority and low-income communities that receive a majority of their care from Title X-funded providers.
Democrats on Wednesday voted to include in a massive spending bill that’s currently being debated on the House floor a provision that would block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from implementing the administration’s new Title X rule. The White House this week threatened to veto the entire spending package if such a provision is included in the final bill.
On Wednesday, June 19, at 10:00 a.m. ET experts from the around the country will gather in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building to discuss the essential role that Title X plays in communities across the country, and why protecting the program is so important to minority and low-income communities that rely on Title X clinics for their care.
The hearing will be streamed LIVE online at the following link: https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-protecting-title-x-and-safeguarding-quality-family-planning
More information, including a full list of witnesses that will be testifying, will be provided as soon as it becomes available.