It Just Got Harder to Get Birth Control in America
This has been an ominous year for reproductive rights in America, with states including Georgia, Alabama and now Tennessee in a race to the bottom to pass the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation.
But while those high-profile abortion bans make their way through the courts — they were designed to provoke legal challenges that could threaten Roe v. Wade — a more immediate threat to women’s health care has been brewing. The Trump administration has quietly been working to gut the Title X family planning program, which helps poor women afford birth control, cancer screenings and testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted infections. On Monday, the administration’s efforts paid off: Planned Parenthood, which serves about 40 percent of Title X patients around the country, felt forced to withdraw from the program.
At the same time, making it harder for women to get birth control isn’t an accidental side effect of this rule change. Current and former members of the administration have expressed opposition to birth control, and one of only three new recipients of Title X grants this year is a Catholic-affiliated group that does not provide contraception beyond guidance on the so-called rhythm method.