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For Women Like Silvia, Changes to Title X Family Planning Could Be a Matter of Life and Death

by Birthright: A War Story | Updated on 9.25.18

***This content was originally published on [Popsugar] (, and featured in Birthright: A War Story's [newsletter] ( Read more about this issue, take action above / below, and contact your lawmakers to move the needle.*** *** For Silvia, access to birth control is a necessity. Now, with Title X under attack, Silvia — who relies on the program's services for contraceptives — fears for her health. Women's reproductive rights have been under consistent attack under the Trump administration. This time, it's Title X, a federal grant program that provides family planning for low-income households, that is being threatened. More than [4 million Americans] ( rely on Title X, 89 percent of them women. Some of the [services Title X funds go toward] ( include cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatment for STIs, including HIV — and Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent of patients in this program. The Trump administration announced in February that it plans to [prioritize grant applications] ( for Title X from religious organizations that also educate on abstinence or "natural" methods. This would exclude many organizations, including Planned Parenthood. The administration also plans to penalize reproductive healthcare providers, making it harder for women to access reproductive health care under Title X. ***Take Action Below to Contact Your Federal Lawmakers*** Nearly 1 million women [received breast exams in 2016] ( alone thanks to Title X. That's on top of the nearly 1.9 million unplanned [pregnancies the program prevented in 2015] ( Silvia is one of these women who uses contraceptives provided by Title X and Planned Parenthood; however, the reason Silvia relies on birth control is because a pregnancy could potentially kill her. Silvia was diagnosed with [juvenile rheumatoid arthritis] ( at the age of 6, after having tolerated body pain since the age of 3. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that mistakenly identifies cells and tissues as foreign to the body, causing the immune system to fight healthy cells and tissues thinking they are viruses or bacteria. Silvia's taken medication to fight the inflammation since the age of 6. It wasn't until her 20s, when Silvia started thinking of possibly starting a family, that her doctor delivered some rough news: the effects of the medication Silvia's been taking most of her life would put any pregnancy of hers at high risk. "When I heard that getting pregnant wasn't an option for me, I felt like I lost control of my life," Silvia told POPSUGAR. "All of a sudden, the room felt cold and I felt alone. I wanted that feeling of surprise and joy that comes with finding out you're pregnant. For me, that won't happen." As a result, Silvia has to be extra careful about preventing pregnancies, requiring her to take a more reliable birth control. Since Silvia didn't have health insurance, she turned to Planned Parenthood and Title X for contraceptives. Not only did Planned Parenthood educate Silvia on the different types of contraceptives available to her, but it was also able to provide her birth control at no cost to her. Hear Silvia's story in her own words above and visit [Planned Parenthood] ( to learn more about how you can help protect women's reproductive rights.
Birthright: A War Story

Written by Birthright: A War Story

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