New Study Shows Publicly Funded Family Planning Programs Prevent Abortions and Save Taxpayer Money


Joan Carr
Director of Community Affairs
(901) 725-3008

Published: 03.02.09| Updated: 03.26.09

A study released last week by the highly respected Guttmacher Institute shows a federally funded family planning program is highly cost-effective and prevents nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions in the United States each year. The program provides numerous benefits to clients in Memphis and Shelby County while reducing TennCare costs borne by taxpayers.

Based on 2006 statistics, the national family planning program known as Title X (10) prevented 1.94 million pregnancies in the United States, including 400,000 teen pregnancies. According to the study, the 1.94 million pregnancies that were prevented would have resulted in 860,000 unintended births and 810,000 abortions. In Tennessee, Title X programs prevented 19,300 unintended pregnancies that would have resulted in an estimated 8,600 unintended births and 8,100 abortions.

The Title X family planning program began in 1970 as a bipartisan commonsense approach to ensuring that low-income Americans have access to contraceptive services and other preventive health care. By federal law, Title X funds cannot be used to fund abortion services. For almost 40 years, Title X has been the nation's only program dedicated solely to reducing unintended pregnancy by providing contraceptive and related reproductive health care services to low-income women.

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) has received Title X funding for almost 40 years.
In 2007, Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region saw 4,400 Title X contraceptive patients in nearly 13,000 office visits. They received the following services:

  • 5,378 pregnancy tests
  • 3,028 Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer
  • 1,027 HIV tests
  • 3,565 tests and treatments for gonorrhea and chlamydia

Title X patients are predominately poor and uninsured.   It is estimated that Planned Parenthood clinics are the only source of family planning services for the vast majority of the patients we serve. More than 93% of PPGMR’s clients have incomes at or below the federal poverty level, and their services are completely subsidized under Title X. The remaining patients are charged on a sliding-fee scale based on their ability to pay.

A Guttmacher Institute study estimates that every $1 spent on family planning services in Tennessee saves Tennessee taxpayers $6.37 that would have been spent on TennCare maternity-related costs.

For more information about Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, contact Joan Carr, Director of Community Affairs at (901) 725-3008 or


Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR), founded in 1938, is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPGMR’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through clinic services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.

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