The Importance of Preserving Access to Care Through the Federal Title X Program
Statement of Policy
Signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon, Title X of the Public Health Services Act provides funds that enable low-income women and men to obtain essential preventive and reproductive healthcare at low or no cost. The services available through Title X health care providers include FDA approved-contraceptive methods and counseling services, well woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), testing for HIV, pregnancy testing and counseling, and other patient education and/or health referrals. Title X funds are not used for abortions. Millions of American women receive reproductive health care and family planning services through Title X.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the leading organization of physicians who provide health services unique to women. The College advocates for policies that ensure access to health care for women throughout their lives and believes that a full array of clinical services should be available to women without costly delays or the imposition of cultural, geographic, financial, or legal barriers. As the only federal program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income patients with access to family planning and preventive reproductive health services and information, the College recognizes and affirms the critical role that Title X plays in ensuring that women can access needed health care. The College further recognizes and affirms the work of its Fellows who provide care for low income women at Title X facilities.
The College opposes efforts to undermine Title X, including efforts that restrict the ability of qualified providers to provide care through the Title X program. The College opposes efforts that seek to regulate the way in which Title X providers talk to their patients and that prevent Title X providers from sharing complete and accurate medical information necessary to ensure that their patients are able to make timely, fully informed medical decisions. The College further opposes efforts that threaten the quality of health care that women who rely on Title X receive, including efforts to permit Title X providers to exclude certain forms of FDA-approved contraceptive methods and/or to offer contraceptive methods that are not medically approved. Restricting the ability of low income women to obtain quality reproductive health care and medically accurate information will only increase rates of unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and undiagnosed medical conditions.
The continued availability of access to high quality, medically accurate reproductive and preventive health care through Title X is essential to women’s health.
Approved by the Executive Board June 2018