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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING FIGHTING TO PROTECT ACCESS TO FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES

~ More than 4 million uninsured and low-income Americans rely on Title X funding, which is currently being threatened by the Trump-Pence Administration ~

RICHMOND (May 15, 2018)—Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of 20 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief to protect access to Title X, a program that has provided millions of low-income and uninsured individuals with a broad range of comprehensive family planning and preventive health services for more than 40 years. A new set of program requirements put forward by the Trump-Pence Administration would jeopardize the lives and the health of millions of low-income women and families across the United States by threatening funding for birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and infertility treatment.

 

“Virginia women and families should have access to the full range of medically-sound preventive care and family planning services, not a narrow range of ineffective services dictated by ideology," said Attorney General Herring. “This unlawful and unwise change to Title X funding would reduce access to healthcare and family planning services resulting in more unintended pregnancies and undetected medical conditions, increasing the financial burden on Virginia and other states."

 

According to the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Virginia received $4.45 million through Title X in 2017 to support access to family planning and healthcare services at 139 providers across the state. Virginia's designated Title X grantees are the Virginia Department of Health and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, with VDH accounting for approximately 86% of the patients seen and 91% of the supported sites. Approximately 51,000 patients received Title X services in 2017, and of them, approximately 89% of patients had an annual income of less than $29,700 and 65% were uninsured.

 

On February 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new set of requirements that threaten funding for comprehensive reproductive healthcare centers like Planned Parenthood, and instead favor facilities that do not provide women with fact-based information or comprehensive healthcare. Instead of supporting centers that provide comprehensive family planning services and birth control, the new requirements would instead provide funding for “natural family planning methods" and abstinence-only education.

 

On May 2, 2018, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, along with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association filed suit challenging the new requirements in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs argue that new funding requirements for Title X are in conflict with the underlying Title X statute and regulations, that the Administration has no clear basis for the policy change, and the resulting requirements are arbitrary and capricious. Lastly, they argue that the new criteria improperly change the nature of Title X funding away from the statutory requirement that providers who receive Title X funding provide patients with a range of family planning methods, instead emphasizing only one set of family planning options (abstinence or natural family planning).

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today's brief are the Attorneys General of: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

 

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