I am a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in Maple Grove, specializing in taking care of women throughout the life span from teenagers seeking contraception to pregnancy care and management of menopausal symptoms. In addition to my 10 years of clinical practice, I also have additional expertise in public health and advocacy, both critical dimensions of women’s health. As a physician, a woman, and a mother, I am concerned about the nearly 60,000 women in Minnesota who are in danger of losing access to basic health care, including cancer screening and contraception, as a result of the Trump administration’s proposed rule that would severely restrict Title X.
Title X, signed into law by President Richard Nixon, championed at the time by future President George H.W. Bush, and passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income and adolescent patients with access to essential family planning and preventive health services and information.
In 2016, Title X-funded sites delivered essential services to 56,400 patients in Minnesota. That year, 92 percent of these patients accessed care at a Title X-funded Planned Parenthood. The Title X program helped Minnesota women to prevent 13,200 unintended pregnancies in 2015. A meager investment of just $3.6 million in Title X funds saved our state and the federal government over $90 million in 2010.
Policy decisions about women’s health must be firmly rooted in science and must increase access to safe, effective, and timely care. We urge our partners across the medical community to join us in telling the administration to put patients first and withdraw this proposed rule without delay. Don’t let politics come between physicians and our patients.
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