To the Editor: In her recent opinion piece, Shannon McGinley claims that the harm done by the Trump-Pence Title X domestic gag rule is “a widely propagated myth” by Planned Parenthood and its supporters. This claim couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The original intent of the Title X Family Planning Program was not, as the author claims, to separate family planning from abortion.
Rather, it was to provide quality, comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning to low-income people and the uninsured. And in New Hampshire, that is exactly what it does.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England serves 11,000 of the 16,000 patients in New Hampshire who rely on Title X.
As a result of the Title X gag rule, PPNNE, which has five clinics across the state, has pulled out of the program — cutting its budget by approximately 25% and leaving the organization to rely upon emergency funds to continue providing cancer screening, STI testing, and birth control.
Title X dollars are not, in fact, being used to provide abortions — federal law prohibits this.
But as a health-care provider, you simply cannot provide the best, most comprehensive reproductive health care without the ability to talk about and refer for abortions.
It is unethical to ask providers to deny their patients crucial information about a legitimate — and legal — option for those facing an unintended pregnancy.
Instead of creating barriers based upon false claims, we should be working to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to the reproductive health care that they need and deserve.
Hanover Street, Manchester