By Ebony Christie, Richland Northeast HS (Columbia, South Carolina)
Amid the national conversation about health care funding, specifically for low-income individuals, women empowerment organizations such as WREN have been turning their attention to protecting Title X funding for women and their families who experience unwanted pregnancies and other health issues.
“Title X does not go toward paying for abortions but it does go provides counseling for those who have unwanted pregnancies and what their options are. There are three options: you can become a parent, put your baby up for adoption, or you can choose to end your pregnancy and have an abortion,” Ashley Lidow, the associate director for policy and government relations for WREN, said.
According to Spotlight On Poverty and Opportunity, more than 16 percent of women in South Carolina live in poverty. Not only does this funding give women options, but one of its biggest elements is educating these low-income individuals and providing savings economically for states like South Carolina.
“Title X funding is hugely important and dramatically effective in preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions – especially in states like South Carolina that didn’t expand Medicaid,” Sam Edwards, Candidate for South Carolina House of Representatives District 85, said.
President Donald Trump’s administration has advocated recently for a domestic gag rule that would strip Title X funding.
Edwards said that it’s disturbing how lawmakers are very determined to create obstacles for women. She often hears women ask of these lawmakers will enable their right to choose healthcare. Yet, what is hindering men from voting away a woman’s right to vote?
“When lawmakers create restrictions like a gag rule, it’s not only medically unethical, they threaten the basic right people have to make informed decisions about their own life,” Edwards said.
Nevertheless, the outcome of Title X abolishment would result in a domino effect of chaos economically–in states like South Carolina.
Title X funding is often times viewed as a universal resource for low-income women.
According to National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Title X aids in infrastructure needs that are not refundable under Medicaid and private insurance; specifically in areas such as, staff salaries, education, outreach, women’s health, and sexual health issues.
“As a woman, I’ve had to fight to be heard and accepted among men my entire life. A big reason I’m running for a state office is that it is becoming clear with the Trump administration that states need to take a bigger role in fixing health care,” Edwards said. “I believe that affordable health care and options for all South Carolinians will save the state money, and improve life here in the greatest state in the nation.”