March 30 Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding Senate vote to roll back Obama administration protections that would restrict states from allocating Title X funds on an ideological basis. As The Atlantic recently reported, Title X of the Public Health Service Act is the only federal program that is dedicated to supporting organizations that provide family planning services. Under Title X the federal government can give money to states for allocation, as they see fit, to health care providers who engage in family planning. Obama’s protections ensured that Title X funds cannot be withheld from abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, solely because they offer abortions in addition to family planning services. The Obama regulations would have protected Planned Parenthood from one of the Republicans’ many unpopular attempts to defund their organization. This vote will roll back these protections, leaving the many Idahoans who rely on Planned Parenthood for family planning services vulnerable. Now, more than ever, we have to send a strong message to the legislators and leadership in our state that we Stand With Planned Parenthood and will not sit idly by if they make any attempts at the state level to take away our care.
Rebecca Elisabeth DelliCarpini, Boise