You shouldn’t have to be a rich adult in order to avoid pregnancy.
Now that we’re finally making progress toward reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy and reducing the number of abortions, why is it that some in Congress want to go back in time, especially as the Zika virus looms?
Teen and unplanned pregnancy and birth rates have reached an historic 40-year low, thanks, in part, to increased access to contraception and other family planning services, much of which is supported by Title X, the nation’s family planning program. Unfortunately, United States Senate appropriators have called to level fund the program. In fact, it is the sixth year in a row that the program has received no new funding…rendering the House’s proposal to completely eliminate the Title X program baffling.
Ideologically driven attacks like this seriously compromise the capacity of medical centers like Womankind to provide essential health care, including contraception, counseling, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment, and breast and cervical cancer screenings that an estimated 4.1 million women and men rely on every year, close to 2500 just at Womankind alone.
It is particularly troubling that even as the country faces a looming public health crisis resulting from the Zika virus, Congress has failed to provide any additional resources to support the very provider network that is being called upon to address the risk of women who may be seeking pregnancy.
Womankind has lost $50,000 in Title X funding in the last few years. Right now the only Title X-funded provider in our county is the health department, and it needs more support, not less, to make the clinical and administrative arrangements necessary to ramp up Zika preparedness and response efforts in Key West and Monroe County. Congress should show common sense and appropriately fund Title X.
Kim Romano, Executive Director Womankind
Womankind Board of Directors