Trump-Pence administration limits women’s rights

Women gather in support of women’s reproductive rights in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of

Josie Hafer, Opinion Editor

In March 2017, Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to repeal protection for Planned Parenthood patients who receive family planning care under Title X. In May 2017, the U.S. House passed a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood. The upcoming defunding would affect over 600 care centers around the nation as well as the 2.4 million people that use these clinics. Locally, the Planned Parenthood clinic located in Pullman would be shut down and patients all over the area would lose access to reproductive care and family planning.    

Many politicians and members of Congress in the Trump-Pence administration are attempting to limit safe and reasonable abortion access and reproductive rights. This puts women all over the U.S. in danger. 

Title X, also known as the Family Planning Program, is the only federal program dedicated to providing citizens with family planning resources and pregnancy-preventative measures. Take into account the very name of this program: Family Planning. 

Sometimes family planning means preparing to bring a child into the world. But it can also be quite the opposite of that. The goal of family planning programs such as Title X is to educate individuals and give them more control over whether and when they start a family. Abortion access comes into play here, as it may prevent an unwanted family or give individuals   time to prepare for a family. Some say that the goal of a Title X gag rule comes from strict pro-life efforts. But, according to, it’s really to force Planned Parenthood and pregnancy prevention measures out of Title X. Doing so defeats the very purpose of the federal Family Planning Program. 

Taking away these resources is harmful in so many ways. While the main goal of cutting these is to limit abortion access, organizations such as Planned Parenthood clinics provide many other services. Defunding Planned Parenthood will block some women from receiving safe and legal abortions, but it will also limit wellness checks such as breast exams, STI testing, pap smears, contraceptives and more. 
To defund Title X would be especially harmful to minority groups. Low-income persons make up 78% of Planned Parenthood patients. Title X is a government program, which means it serves many who otherwise could not afford care. 

People of color make up 35% of Planned Parenthood users; 15% of patients are black, and 21% are Latinx. These groups are already marginalized due to racism and xenophobia, which can make it more difficult to receive equal healthcare. Take away a government-funded program, and these groups will suffer the most. 

Defunding Planned Parenthood will start a cycle of trauma and malpractice. If they are funded, these issues can be managed with family planning tools.  These clinics offer comprehensive sexual education and, in some cases, contraception at reduced costs for people who are financially limited. Once these resources are gone, it is likely that unwanted pregnancies will steadily rise, therefore increasing the need for abortion access. 

Without preventative measures, children must be born to parents who can’t support them, which means more reliance on welfare programs that are less than perfect. 

If Title X funds vanish, unsafe methods of ending a pregnancy will likely increase, and from that, women all over the U.S. could  suffer traumatic injuries or even death. This attempt to limit reproductive health care is incredibly short-sighted.  

All in all, defunding Planned Parenthood will not put an end to abortion. It only puts an end to safe abortions.