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By Nancy Flory, an Associate Editor, The Stream, March 1, 2018
The Trump administration released its application for Title X funding Friday. The application makes abstinence and natural family planning a priority, and is raising concerns among abortion providers.
The Title X program provides federal family planning funds. The program will provide $260 million to eligible health care providers.
All eligible health care providers may apply, even Planned Parenthood, said Valerie Huber. Huber is the acting deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS. She recently told reporters that she wants to “expand the program’s reach,” reported Politico.
“This is a program that’s important to the administration and we think it’s really important to make some meaningful changes to extend the coverage of the program,” said Huber.
Those changes worry groups like Planned Parenthood, as providing abortions with the funds is prohibited. Dawn Laguens is the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood. Laguens said the Trump administration is “taking aim” at access to birth control. “This is a clear attempt to roll back access to the type of birth control that most women want to use,” she said. “The last thing anyone wants is for Donald Trump or Mike Pence to weigh in on her sex life — but this announcement essentially invites them into the bedroom.”
According to Politico, the announcement included natural family planning methods among services offered by grantees. Applicants must promote “positive family relationships for the purpose of increasing family participation in family planning and health decision-making.” They must also provide research on “healthy relationships, to committed, safe, stable, healthy marriages and the benefits of avoiding sexual risk or returning to a sexually risk-free status, especially (but not only) when communicating with adolescents.”
Additionally, to receive funding, groups will need to make sure they train staff each year to spot abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking. They will be required to track and report offenses.
Nancy is an Associate Editor at The Stream. She is currently working toward her PhD in Strategic Communication and Journalism at Regent University. She’s the mother of four boys.