AG Kathy Jennings Will Include DE in National Lawsuit Challenging Title X Family Planning “Gag Rule”

Mattress Peddlers

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Monday that Delaware will join 19 sister states, including Maryland, and the District of Columbia in a national lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump Administration’s new “gag rule” altering the federal Title X family planning program. The suit, which is being led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, will be filed on Tuesday, March 5.

Title X is the only federal grant program that funds family planning programs to help patients access contraception, cancer screenings, exams, and related health services. The Trump Administration’s rule change restricts providers and health care professionals from providing information or referrals for abortion services, but it does NOT fund abortions.

Title X funds 55 sites throughout Delaware, including federally qualified health centers, community clinics, state clinics, three Planned Parenthood affiliates, university health centers and 21 school-based health centers. In 2017, Delaware’s Title X providers served 19,132 patients – both men and women.

All Title X providers in Delaware provide basic physical assessments and preventive/diagnostic health screenings that support clients’ preconception health. Services provided by Title X providers include STD screenings and treatment, rapid HIV testing and counseling, cervical and breast cancer screenings, mental health assessments, and family planning services including oral contraceptives, injectable medications, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), pregnancy testing, and non-directive options counseling.

Notably, Title X facilities and funding were instrumental in Delaware’s Contraceptive Access Now (CAN) initiative, which from 2014 to 2017 helped increase LARC use from 13.7 percent to 31.5 percent among Delaware Title X family planning clients ages 20 to 39. This resulted in a 24 percent simulated decrease in unintended pregnancies among this population according to Upstream USA, a partner nonprofit.