Washington, DC—Ted L. Anderson, MD, PhD, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), issued the following statement regarding Planned Parenthood and other providers leaving the Title X program:
"Title X funding provides clinics the ability to offer FDA-approved contraceptive methods and counseling services, well-woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, testing for HIV, pregnancy testing and counseling, patient education, and/or health referrals, including referrals for abortion services. Title X funding is not allowed to be used to provide abortion services.
“When the current administration announced the new rule restricting the ability of Title X grantees to offer patients medically accurate, comprehensive counseling and referrals to abortion providers, ACOG expressed concern that millions of low-income women would be left without access to essential preventive health care and information.
“Now, what we had feared is being borne out. Qualified providers of high-quality health care services are leaving the program as a direct result of the inappropriate restrictions placed on providers to offer medically accurate, appropriate, and necessary counseling and/or referrals for abortion services. Title X plays a critical role in the lives of many women in America, and those who depend on Title X funded clinics for health care services will suffer.
“By restricting providers from delivering accurate information to their patients, including abortion referrals, the new Title X rule represents an inappropriate intrusion in the patient-physician relationship. ACOG opposes any political interference that would prevent clinicians from sharing the full spectrum of accurate and necessary medical information to ensure that patients are able to make timely, fully informed medical decisions.
“The health of women in this country should not be subservient to political agendas. We remain hopeful that pending litigation will restore the ability of Title X providers to speak honestly and openly with their patients and allow them to continue providing the critical services that are essential to their health and well-being.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org