Progress Virginia Launches Campaign to Defend Family Planning

Title X Funding Under Attack from Republicans in DC, Congressman Dave Brat

As leaders in the Commonwealth moved forward to expand health care access to hundreds of thousands of Virginians through Medicaid expansion, conservatives in Washington like Congressman Dave Brat (VA-7) are still trying to take away basic health care services from Virginia residents. After multiple failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Brat and his allies in Congress are now seeking to upend the effective Title X program that ensures medically accurate family planning services are available at local health clinics around the state.

By calling on Health and Human Services to implement a “Domestic Gag Rule” that bars providers from giving patients information about the full range of reproductive care options available, Congressman Dave Brat has joined the Trump administration and Washington conservatives’ attempts to strip away health care from low-income women specifically (many of whom are women of color), and affordable birth control from all women. Dave Brat’s attempts to undermine Title X would also have a disastrous effect on Virginia’s newly expanded Medicaid program. For every dollar the federal government spends on Title X, taxpayers save $7 thanks to fewer unintended pregnancies that Medicaid would otherwise cover.

“Dave Brat’s policy positions defy reason. He says he wants to repeal Obamacare because premiums are ‘unaffordable’, but then he attempts to eliminate affordable, copay-free birth control provisions and nullify cost-saving programs like Title X,” said Jen Lawhorne, a spokeswoman for Progress Virginia.“Instead of taking away the basic programs families depend on, Congressman Brat ought to be urging his fellow Republicans to stop the chaos and sabotage that are driving premiums higher than ever, and to learn from his former colleagues in Richmond who are working together to provide their constituents with affordable health care.”

Progress Virginia is launching a full-scale campaign in Congressman Brat’s district with paid digital ads and field organizing to educate residents about the threats to Title X. The campaign will mobilize Virginians to submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services, opposing the Title X cuts that harm women living in poverty and our communities overall.

“Progress Virginia will be reaching out to Congressman Brat’s constituents in the 7th District,” continued Jen Lawhorne, “educating them on the importance of Title X and asking that they speak out against Brat’s attempts to sabotage our nation’s only family planning program. From grassroots organizing to paid digital ads, we’re encouraging Virginians to stand up for family planning by fighting back Dave Brat’s attempts to take away our healthcare.”

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