Washington D.C. – Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, voted against H.J. Res. 43, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of an Obama administration rule that ensured patients can access Title X family planning and preventive services through any Title X-qualified provider.
As the only dedicated source of federal funding for family planning, Title X allows a diverse network of providers to deliver high-quality care to low-income, uninsured, or underinsured Americans. Title X provides grants to entities that offer a broad range of services, such as cancer screenings, birth control, sexually-transmitted infection testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. More than four million women and men receive family planning and preventive care at Title-X funded clinics annually. An Obama administration rule stopped states from blocking Title X funds to providers that use private, non-government funds to offer safe, legal abortions. Today’s GOP-sponsored resolutionrescinds that rule.
“Eligibility for Title X funding should be based on a provider’s ability to provide family planning services. Period. Whether a provider offers safe and legal abortions with private funds should not be used to prevent women and men from getting preventive care, like cancer screenings or HIV tests,” Engel said. “That is all the rule requires. This should not be controversial.” In a speech on the House floor, Engel underscored the harmful effects of the resolution, which would prevent Americans in underserved communities from seeing the health care provider of their choice – sometimes the only viable provider.
“My Republican colleagues always talk about individual freedom, and how important it is.” Engel said. “This is an individual freedom of a woman’s right to control her own body and to make personal choices on health care. We should not interfere with that.”