Planned Parenthood: Withdrawal from Title X Won’t Impact Abortion Rights in Md.

    Maryland residents who rely on Planned Parenthood for family planning and other health care needs will not be impacted by the organization’s decision to withdraw from a federal health program.

    That decision, late last week, ended Planned Parenthood’s 50-year history with Title X of the federal Public Health Service Act. The organization made the move in the face of a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions, often referred to as the “gag rule.”

    Because of actions the state legislature took in 2017 and 2019, Maryland will backfill the loss of federal dollars with state funds. 

    Planned Parenthood has been the largest Title X provider of health services, serving 40 percent of all patients.

    “Maryland’s reproductive health care service delivery system will not be disrupted,” the organization said on Monday.

    “Basic health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and STI testing and treatment will continue to be available, free or on a sliding scale, for millions of Marylanders.”

    This year lawmakers approved, along partisan lines, a bill by Sen. Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County) and Del. Shane M. Pendergrass (D-Howard) that prevents the state from accepting certain funding under Title X if the program excludes family planning providers.

    “This will ensure that nearly 25,000 Planned Parenthood patients will be able to continue to see their local health care provider, in addition to the thousands more who go to local community health clinics,” the organization said.

    Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) allowed the bill to take effect without his signature.

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    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.