KUER 90.1 | By Ivana Martinez
Published April 14, 2022 at 2:00 AM MDT
Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is back in the Title X federal grant program. Title X is the only program providing funds to family planning clinics around the country for low-income and uninsured individuals who might not have access to health services elsewhere.
In August 2019, Utah’s Planned Parenthood exited the program because of a “gag rule” implemented during the Trump Administration. It prohibited recipients from referring patients for abortions.
Lynne Nilson, the program coordinator at the Utah Department of Health, said these funds are significant in providing health care services to Utahns.
“There’s definitely a need for family planning services for low-income families, especially in rural and frontier areas,” she said. “And [there are] areas in Salt Lake City where people don’t have access for a variety of reasons.”
For nearly three years, no Title X funding was coming into the state. Some health care researchers say this left a huge hole in access.
Planned Parenthood has eight clinics statewide that provide family planning and reproductive health services like contraceptives, STD testing and treatment and general health care.
They served 31,379 people with Title X funds in 2018 and 19,880 people in 2019 before leaving the program.
Karrie Galloway, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said they saw the number of patients go down over the years. She said that could be attributed to the loss of funding but also the pandemic.
Galloway said even though they lost funding during that time, they found ways to make up that money to provide health care services.
“We still encourage people to come in,” she said “To be honest with you. We didn’t turn anyone away. We worked with people. We put things on account as we called it.”
She said she didn’t regret making the choice to opt-out of the grant.
“Planned Parenthood prides itself on making sure that we provide comprehensive medical services as well as information and education about the health care that they request,” she said. “We will not be part of a system that withholds information for men or women or anyone for what they need to live their best life.”
For the fiscal years 2022-2023, they were awarded $2,250,000 to restart the Title X program and see 35,212 people according to Galloway.
Under the new administration and recent court rulings, she said there was enough good faith to reenter the program.