WACO, Texas (KWTX) -Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas has been approved for a five year Title X grant.
For about 50 years, Title X family planning clinics have had a goal of providing access to family planning and preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured people. However, there has not been a Title X provider in Waco for several years.
The Planned Parenthood Waco Health Center says with the return of the grant, they are now the only Title X provider in Waco.
“Our patients who are coming in seeking birth control, STI screening, preventative care visits such as breast cancer screenings and cervical cancer screenings are now able to come in and be screened for our Title X grant,” Tonya Capson, Health Services Regional Director, said.
With funding from the grant, the Waco center is expecting to lend a helping hand to thousands of underserved and uninsured patients in the upcoming year.
For patients faced with poverty, services can be provided free of charge or at a reduced price.
“Regardless of their income, regardless of their income status, regardless of where they live or who they love,” Capson said.
One local physician says this grant is needed in Waco due to a healthcare need that is not being met.
“18 percent of people in Waco, McLennan county are uninsured,” Dr. Iliana Neaumann said. “That is double the national average. 20 percent of our residents live in poverty. That’s higher than the Texas average of 15.9 percent.”
She goes on to say the teen birth rate is 38.8, which is higher than both the national and state averages. These statistics and recent conversations across the state regarding reproduction are why they say Title X is essential now.
“We know that Texas has enacted extreme restrictions on abortion so for someone who is seeking to plan and space their pregnancy, who is looking to have options when it comes to birth control, there are a lot of barriers to accessing birth control,” Sarah Wheat, Chief External Affairs Officer, said. “A key part of this program is making sure someone can come in and absolutely choose whatever contraception is going to be right for them, for their family, for their health.”
The grant will stay in place for five years. The grant will also apply to other locations across the state in Paris, Lubbock, El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston.
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