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Michigan governor highlights low, no-cost reproductive care options through Title X clinics

Posted at 9:38 PM, Jul 13, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — As Michigan continues to deal with uncertainty over abortion care, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services highlighted how Michiganders can continue to get other low and no-cost reproductive care at the state’s 92 Title X clinics, a service the department tells me is critically important for better health outcomes.

These clinics, spread across our state, offer services like family planning, preventative care and critical reproductive care like STD and cancer screenings, among other services.

“These clinics are really important because they offer services that are really inclusive, that don't exclude people based on their ability to pay where they live," said Dawn Shanafelt, director of the division of maternal and infant health with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Shanafelt tells me that there are clients using these services exclusively, as a low to no-cost way of getting the health care they need.

“It's really important to note that many clients receive health care solely at Title X clinics," she said. "They've been coming for decades, multiple generations, and coming to receive their annual exam or annual services because of the excellent services.”

Back in the 1970s, Title X was created to provide comprehensive and confidential reproductive care for all, a service that low-income people across the country disproportionately did not have access to.

Access to reproductive care, Shanafelt tells me, has a big impact on health outcomes.

“When we have access to needed services that improves health outcomes and health outcomes such as maternal and infant morbidity and mortality," Shanafelt said. "I mentioned cancer screenings, linkages to to other preventative care services, so they really keep people healthier in the long run.”

There are 11 Title X clinics within 50 miles of downtown Lansing. The two closest to downtown are housed within the Ingham County Health Department building on Cedar Street and Planned Parenthood of Michigan on Clippert Street.

It's important to remember that Title X funds are not used by the clinics to provide abortions.

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