Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed rules that would undercut the Title X family planning program, which underwrites the costs of contraception, reproductive health services, and STD screenings and serves overwhelmingly young, female, and low-income patients. In response to this attack on a woman’s right to choose, today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, to send a 5-signature letter to the Department and Secretary Alex M. Azar II opposing the proposed changes.
“Access to proper health care and reproductive health services are basic human rights,” said Supervisor Solis. “Every patient needs to be fully informed and have access to all of their health options. The Trump Administration’s proposed gag rule would infringe upon the Constitutional rights of patients nationwide. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld a woman’s right to choose, and this Administration’s attack on women’s health and family planning has no place in today’s modern society.”
The Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed changes would require facilities receiving federal family planning funds to be physically separate from those that perform abortion. It would also prevent women with unintended pregnancies from being counseled on their full range of reproductive options, and the gag rule would also ban a physician from making a referral for abortion for a female patient.
Today’s actions by the Board of Supervisors signify a clear and unified opposition to the federal government’s plan to eliminate informed and proper care to patients and L.A. County residents. An array of providers would be affected, including Planned Parenthood. In 2016, Title X served four million patients at just under 4,000 sites.
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