Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana will no longer accept federal Title X funds to help pay for birth control and pap smears, leaving a $700,000 to $1 million gap in the organization’s budget statewide. The nationwide reproductive health provider is voluntarily turning down the funds in protest of a Trump administration rule that bans funding grantees from making abortion referrals or counseling.
“It’s close to 24,000 people that rely on Title X for health care [at Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics],” said Katie Rogers, communications director of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. “We’re sorting out how we’ll be able to cover that loss and we’re looking at how we can change some services and fees to fill some of that gap.”
Rogers said the organization will look for donations and grants, but she doubts any money raised will equal the money the state clinics previously received from Title X.
The Title X program started in 1970, and was set up for patients with low incomes who wouldn’t be able to afford care on their own. The new Trump administration rule bans Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or a medical emergency. Planned Parenthood health centers treat more than 30 percent of Title X patients in Indiana.
Across the river in Kentucky, Planned Parenthood’s Louisville clinic won’t be affected. Nor will the Lexington location. That’s because around 2016, the Louisville clinic withdrew from the program in advance of its application to provide abortions. A few months later, the Lexington clinic also opted out, according to Tamarra Wieder, public affairs and policy director for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.
“When we were going to be opening up abortion services in Louisville, we had decided to opt out of Title X at that time to not create any confusion around where funds were going to be,” Wieder said.
Trump’s rule doesn’t just affect Planned Parenthood, but other organizations that provide services like HIV tests and birth control. In Kentucky, health departments comprise the majority of both Title X grantee sites and serve most of Title X-eligible clients. The most recent data available is from 2015, before Planned Parenthood withdrew from the program. That year, there were 117 health departments that participated in the program, or about 91 percent of total sites.
Federally-qualified health centers, like Family Health Centers in Portland, also receive the funding. Some hospitals do as well.