Tri-Rivers Family Planning, Inc. (TRFP) in Rolla and Lake Ozark is a proud member of the Title X family planning network that serves nearly 40,000 women, men, and teens annually at 69 health centers across Missouri.  TRFP’s doors have remained open since 1971 with the help of Title X.

Recently, the Trump-Pence administration singled out Title X for harmful and unnecessary changes that would seriously damage this important safety net for some of our most vulnerable populations – low-income individuals, the uninsured/underinsured, and people of color. 

Title X is a nearly 50 year-old federal program that provides birth control services, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment to over four million Americans annually.  It has a highly successful track record of preventing unintended pregnancies and the spread of STDs.  It improves health and well-being through the early detection of cancer, and saves taxpayers billions of dollars.  ($7.00 for each $1.00 invested in the program.)  The Title X program works. 

The proposed changes are a dangerous intrusion into the patient-provider relationship and would undermine the very principle upon which this program was founded: That everyone, regardless of income or insurance status, deserves access to affordable, professional reproductive healthcare; a wide range of FDA-approved birth control methods; and medically accurate, non-biased health information.  Title X clinics would be free to offer only less effective methods of birth control and would be forced to withhold from clients all of the facts necessary for them to make informed decisions about their health.  This is both unacceptable and unethical.

Sadly, this is another example of politicians thinking they know more about healthcare than leading experts, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Both organizations strongly oppose the proposed changes.

We encourage readers to contact HHS Secretary Alex Azar at secretary@hhs.gov, @secazar, or 202.690.7000 and voice opposition to the proposed changes to Title X. 

Sincerely,

James A. Felts, MD, Medical Director

Clarissa White, Board Chair

Tonia Stubblefield, President/CEO

Hailey Kramer, FNP, Lead Clinician

Lisa Ecsi Davis, Director of Operations

Crystal Light, LPN, Clinic Manager

Tri-Rivers Family Planning, Inc.