Pictured: San Francisco Mayor London Breed (C) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (L) at the Women's March San Francisco in January 2019.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health will no longer accept funding from the federal Title X Family Planning grant program, after the Federal Administration's changed the rules for what's required for health programs to access funding.
The changes seriously limit providers from giving complete and unbiased reproductive health information, and a full range of services, to their patients. So, in an act of protest, S.F. Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced they will withdraw from receving Title X funding.
“This is about ensuring that all patients in San Francisco have access to the information they need to make decisions about their health,” said Mayor Breed. “We won’t stand by and let the federal government impose a gag rule that would restrict access to basic reproductive health services and prevent people from making informed choices about what is best for them.”
Under the new requirements for Title X funding, facilities providing pregnancy counseling and other reproductive health services would be censored — and even prevented in some cases. Other San Francisco providers, including Planned Parenthood and Women’s Community Clinic, a program of healthRIGHT 360, have also withdrawn from the Title X program following the news.
"The new Title X rules represent the Federal Administration’s attempt to interfere with the provider-patient relationship by determining how pregnancy, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and reproductive health are discussed," states a press release.
The changes seriously limit the kind of information and services that will be available to women and girls.
“The proposed changes to Title X are an attack on reproductive health services and we will not participate,” said Dr. Colfax. “Our patients deserve the full spectrum of education, support, information and care available to them, and our commitment to them will not waiver. The Health Department will not reduce any staff or services as a result of withdrawing from the Title X program.”
“By limiting federally-funded access to birth control and other reproductive health services, this heartless and unethical gag rule is designed to adversely impact the health of thousands of low-income women,” said District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown, who last month passed legislation to prevent the City and County of San Francisco from official travel to, or business with, states that pass abortion bans. “Time and again, President Trump and his administration have acted with disdain and violence against women. San Francisco will not bow to this relentless assault on women and their access to basic healthcare, and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to work with the Department of Public Health to fully ensure that we protect the rights, freedoms, and bodies of all San Franciscans.”