AUGUSTA – Today, Maine Family Planning announced that after nearly 50 years as Maine’s grantee for the Title X National Family Planning Program, it will withdraw from the program rather than comply with the Trump-Pence Gag Rule. The gag rule restricts how Title X health care providers can speak to their patients about abortion and requires strict, cost-prohibitive physical separation of abortion services from family planning services. 

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement: 

“Wherever you live in the state, whether it be Lewiston or Houlton, Portland or Skowhegan, you should have access to the same essential health care benefits. And with this decision, Maine Family Planning is putting their patients first. All leaders should be concerned that poor policy at the federal level will result in Mainers being denied information necessary to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare. 

By making the difficult choice to withdraw from the Title X program, they can continue to offer a full range of essential healthcare services to 23,000 Mainers in underserved and rural communities. Their clinics offer preventive health services that result in a healthier Maine and, for some patients, is the only medical care they receive. The rejection of these funds and refusing to comply with this backwards policy from the Trump-Pence Administration is the right decision. 

I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that the essential healthcare provided by Maine Family Planning does not suffer as a result.”

FURTHER INFORMATION ON TITLE X IN MAINE

In Maine, Title X supports a network of reproductive and sexual health care providers throughout the state including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Maine Family Planning and some federally qualified health centers. The state receives approximately $2 million in Title X funds.

As a participant in the Title X program, health care providers commit to providing care to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay. Almost half of the patients who receive Title X services are at 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and three quarters are below 200 percent of the FPL.