FEDERAL POLICIES REDUCE BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS FOR MORE THAN 2.6 MILLION WOMEN LIVING IN CALIFORNIA

Press release

FEDERAL POLICIES REDUCE BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS FOR MORE THAN 2.6 MILLION WOMEN LIVING IN CALIFORNIA

February 26, 2020
Power to Decide logo next to a picture of a woman

(Washington, D.C.) —  Data released by Power to Decide today estimates more than 2.6 million California women of reproductive age (13-44) in need of publicly funded contraception live in counties losing federal funding for the Title X Family Planning Program as a result of the implementation of the “domestic gag rule.”

The domestic gag rule requires health providers receiving Title X funds to withhold information from patients about abortion services and care. In addition, health centers will soon be required to cease providing abortion care with non-Title X funds at sites that offer Title X supported services, such as contraceptive care, breast and cervical cancer screening and STI testing.  The new rule requires that abortion services, no matter how they are funded, must be performed at a separate physically site, which will be impossible for many health centers. Through the domestic gag rule, the Trump administration has undermined the ability of Title X health centers to provide quality care.

“The implementation of the domestic gag rule could impact more than 2.6 million women in need in California,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “Sixty-two percent of California counties have lost some or all of their Title X resources as a result of the domestic gag rule, impacting 134 clinics around the state. Women in California deserve to get vital preventative health care services, including contraceptive care and that has been undermined by the Trump administration.”

Today, more than 19 million U.S. women of low income live in contraceptive deserts— counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods.

In this challenging landscape, states like California are taking steps to partially alleviate the impact of damaging federal policies and to proactively expand access to contraception in various ways. For example, California laws permit pharmacists to prescribe some forms of birth control, require insurance to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives and protect contraceptive coverage. In addition, California has expanded Medicaid access to childless adults, and Medicaid reimbursement is allowed for postpartum long-acting reversible contraception. More information about these policies can be found here.

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.