HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock is among more than a dozen governors who have signed a letter urging the White House not to change the rules for Title Ten (Title X) funding.
The new policy would force Planned Parenthood and similar clinics to change the way they do business, or lose federal funding.
Under the proposed plan, no abortions under the same roof where federal dollars are used, and those practices cannot refer patients out for abortions.
The rule does not prohibit abortion counseling.
Thanks to Title X funding, Planned Parenthood of Montana is able to provide medical services on a sliding scale to 15% of their patients. Services on title X are: birth control, STI testing and treatment, annual exams, cancer screenings.
Planned Parenthood of Montana also stated that many of the lists of “replacement” providers don’t even provide reproductive health care. In Louisiana, the state list of alternative providers included dentists and nursing homes. In Florida, it included school nurses. In Ohio, it included food banks.
The governors say the new rule would interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, strip women’s access to family planning services, and force medical professionals to knowingly withhold information from their patients.
The letter ends with the governor’s pledge to work with state legislators and states’ Attorneys General to stop the rule.
Martha Stahl, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Montana, wrote “we’re grateful to Governor Bullock for standing with Montana women, and rejecting this dangerous policy. 16,000 of Montana women depend on Planned Parenthood for birth control and other basic health care. The Trump-Pence administration is taking direct aim at their health and rights, and we are glad that Governor Bullock is joining the growing nationwide opposition to these attacks.”
The Governor sent out a press release about the letter, stating in part,
“We stand with women and men in our states by rejecting this Administration’s efforts to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, gut women’s access to family planning services, and force medical professionals to knowingly withhold information from their patients,” the governors wrote. “We strongly urge you not to undermine the important work that Governors and administrations of both parties have done for decades to support women and families through Title X. We will continue to consult with our states’ Attorneys General, state legislatures, and state health agencies to stop this rule from harming the millions of women we are sworn to protect.”
Governors who joined Gov. Steve Bullock (MT) in signing the letter include: Gov. Jay Inslee (WA), Gov. Gina Raimondo (RI), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY), Gov. Mark Dayton, (MN), Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO), Gov. Dan Malloy (CT), Gov. David Ige (HI), Gov. Tom Wolf (PA), Gov. Kate Brown (OR), Gov. John Carney (DE), Gov. Roy Cooper (NC), Gov. Phil Murphy (NJ), Gov. Ralph Northam (VA).
The full letter can be found here.