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How the New Title X Guidelines 'Trumped' Contraception

April 5, 2018
Katie Visco

The Trump Administration recently announced the new rules for the Title X family funding program, and it's not looking good for sexual education and contraception. This year's guidelines largely favor abstinence-only education and natural family planning methods like fertility awareness. Birth control is not mentioned at all in the new requirements. 

Other than the shift towards abstinence and fertility awareness, the guidelines also specifically encourage providers specializing in "a single method of family planning" and also "community-based and faith-based organizations" to apply. Not only do the new guidelines seem to limit contraceptive methods, but they also seem to favor religious providers, who are more likely to oppose abortion as a birth control method. 

Reproductive health advocates worry that the revamp of the Title X program will negatively affect the low-income communities and women it serves. Before now, the guidelines had aimed to educate the public on various birth control options and required all Title X-funded programs to follow Providing Quality Family Planning Services (which is now omitted from the new requirements). 

Title X funding is in the hands of Valerie Huber, who used to be the president and CEO of Ascend, a group that promotes abstinence-only education. She also has a reputation for criticizing the "normalization" of teen sex and sex before marriage. Many healthcare advocates have spoken out about the new guidelines, claiming them as an attempt to impose conservative beliefs onto the 4 million people that depend on affordable reproductive health clinics for their family planning options.

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