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Hickenlooper opposes Trump Title X plan aimed at abortion funding

Author: Joey Bunch - July 31, 2018 - Updated: August 23, 2018

Hickenlooper TeslaColorado Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses reporters at the state Capitol in May 2017. (Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is urging the Trump administration to scrap its rules aimed at putting more distance between federal dollars and abortions.

In May the Trump administration unveiled regulations on health care providers in the federal Title X Family Planning Program. Hickenlooper joins a list of Democratic governors resisting the proposal, characterizing it as rife with unintended consequences.

Title X is the federal program that pays for family planning and related health services, including breast cancer and cervical cancer screening, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and birth control. The Trump administration’s goal is to ensure none of that money is used to pay for abortion-related services.

“Governors will not stand idly by as President Trump launches a dangerous and unconscionable assault on women’s health care in our states,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said in a statement in May.

Hickenlooper’s office said Monday the rule would undermine Colorado’s gains in reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions.

He sent his request to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The proposed rule would undermine Colorado’s success. In contrast to the effectiveness of long-acting, reversible methods of birth control, ‘natural family planning’ and ‘fertility awareness-based’ methods are significantly less effective, but encouraged under this rule,” Hickenlooper wrote. “Title X providers will no longer be able to provide a full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, limiting women’s access to the most effective birth control methods and leading to an increase in unplanned pregnancies.

“Perhaps most troubling, this new rule interferes with the trusted relationship between women and their doctors. The new rule limits how Title X providers can discuss reproductive healthcare options with their patients and prevents doctors from referring patients for specific health care services.”

Read the full letter by clicking here.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.