State Sen. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, has joined a group of Democratic state senators in announcing that Connecticut’s Senate Democratic caucus will protect women’s health care and provide state funding for Planned Parenthood in Connecticut in order to defend the organization from Donald Trump’s attack.
The dozen Planned Parenthood clinics in Connecticut are now operating under a Trump-ordered gag rule that prohibits them from providing referrals for legal abortion services. Federal Title X funding in Connecticut for Planned Parenthood amounts to about $2.1 million per year.
In a letter to Office of Policy and Management Commissioner Melissa McCaw, Sen. Slap and his fellow Democratic senators asked to work with Commissioner McCaw to find this funding within the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
In addition, the Senate Democratic caucus plans to make the provision of funding to offset President Trump’s attack on women’s health a major priority in adjusting the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in the next session.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that Donald Trump has launched yet another front in his war on women across America and right here in Connecticut,” Sen. Slap said. “We have no other choice but to stand up for women’s health care in Connecticut and to send a very firm message to the Trump White House that his indifference to women’s rights will not be tolerated.”
For more than 40 years, federally funded Title X family planning clinics across America have ensured access to a broad range of family planning and related health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals, including breast and cervical cancer detection, screening and treatment; treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV testing, and contraception.
But Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence recently pushed for a change to Title X Funding that prohibits Title X health care providers from counseling patients about abortion. The rule was announced in February, and it is currently being challenged in court in 20 states. A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Trump-Pence policy changes can take effect even as those lawsuits are pending.
In 2019, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England — which operates 12 health clinics in Connecticut — received $2.1 million in federal Title X funding (about 5 percent of its total budget).
In Connecticut in 2017, nearly 44,000 patients received services through Title X funding; about a third of those patients were women under the age of 25, about a third earned less than $12,000 a year, a third were Latino and a third African-American.