After months of uncertainty, President Donald Trump's ban on taxpayer-funded family planning clinics referrals for women seeking abortions was released on Friday by the Health and Human Services Department. Experts say the policy will have deep and lasting consequences. If this shakes you to your core, here's how to protest Trump's Title X family planning rule.
The details of the Title X policy were released on Friday by the Health and Human Services Department, as ABC News reported. The plan, which appeals to religious conservatives, would not only prohibit family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers, but also prevent the clinics from even being housed in the same building as abortion providers, according to The Washington Post.
Title X could lead Planned Parenthood to lost tens of millions of dollars in federal family planning funds, according to Politico; instead, much of that funding would likely go to anti-abortion, faith-based care providers, the news outlet reported. Planned Parenthood has spoken out, describing the plan as an "unethical gag rule."
The final regulation of the Title X policy was published to the HHS website on Friday, but has yet to appear in the Federal Register, according to ABC News, and may still receive "minor edits."
There are are a few different ways you can participate in and continue the ongoing fight against the Title X changes. One powerful way is to help fund the impending lawsuits. Critics of it and advocates for reproductive rights, such as Planned Parenthood, have described the policy as "a domestic gag rule" that unethically infringes on the relationship between patients and their providers, as Vox reported. Abortion rights groups who have already sued the Trump administration for its fund distribution will likely respond with lawsuits yet again.
Numerous reproductive rights organizations could come forth to sue the Department of Health and Human Services. Both Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and American Civil Liberties Union have already filed separate suits in regards to Title X, according to NPR. Along with filing lawsuits, many organizations like Equality California will be actively fighting the cuts to Title X and advocating for reproductive rights.
By donating to one of the organizations, you can help keep the fight going. Other organizations to consider include the Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Aside from donating to organizations such as these, contacting your local representatives is a powerful way to make your feelings known. Planned Parenthood encourages its supporters to call their local U.S. representatives. If you're unsure what to say or how to call, Planned Parenthood offers a plethora of resources — including a call script. It really couldn't be easier.
You can also submit an official comment to the Department of Health and Human Services in reference to the rule change. Again, Planned Parenthood has made it super easy to do so. Simply fill out go to the Action Fund's website and use the pre-filled form to share your point of view on Title X.
And, finally, simply speaking out to those around you — both in person and online — can be incredibly influential. If you need help for this as well, you guessed it: Planned Parenthood is there to help. With the Planned Parenthood DIY Speak Up Toolkit, you can get the main speaking points about Title X, the latest news on how the policy is progressing towards official approval, social media guidance, as well as a script for writing to your electing officials.
Whether or not the changes to Title X directly affect your personal reproductive health, it is an affront on the freedoms and well-being of women across the country. If you are interested in fighting back, taking one, two, or all of these steps will go a long way towards protecting the funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood.