Welch defends Planned Parenthood funding

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Congressman Peter Welch joined Planned Parenthood officials and supporters Monday to defend federal funding for reproductive health services.

Rep. Peter Welch

The Trump administration is taking public comments on changes to Title 10 funding, which helps low-income people afford birth control and reproductive health care. Lucy Leriche of the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund says the proposed rule changes would prevent health providers receiving Title 10 funds from mentioning abortion to clients, or referring them to facilities that perform abortions. In Vermont, Planned Parenthood receives about $750,000. Leriche says federal law already bars that money for abortions.

"Title 10 is the only federal program in the country for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The Title 10 health centers like ours provide high-quality, cost-effective health services to low-income, under-insured and uninsured Vermonters," Leriche said.

Welch says the proposed rule changes threaten the health of low-income Vermonters. "Why in the world would the Trump administration be challenging family planning services? There's no reason for that. We're talking about letting people know what their options are so they can make wise decisions," he said.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan set up a website last week for Vermonters to provide comments to the federal government ahead of the July 31 deadline.