During a House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) highlighted the threat to public health posed by the Trump Administration’s Title X “Gag Rule,” which would block federal funding to health centers that provide family planning and reproductive health services.
Congressman Sarbanes called attention to the harmful effects of the Gag Rule on underserved communities, which rely on Title X centers for health care services. “As a state, Maryland receives about $3.2 million in annual funding from Title X,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Almost half of that, $1.43 million, goes to the City of Baltimore – which I represent – which uses it to provide a range of services to more than 16,000 patients annually.”
Congressman Sarbanes continued: “In the federal lawsuit that was filed against [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] to prevent the rule from taking effect, Baltimore City outlines that many Title X grantees would lose funding under this rule, and the City would be then responsible for replacing that lost funding. If not replaced, the public health impacts would include an increase in unintended pregnancies, an increase in sexually-transmitted infections, an increase in undetected cancers, a decrease in access to prenatal care. The impact that’s being predicted from implementing this gag rule is it will have a tremendous effect on access to care.”