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President Vetoes Preventive Health Care for Women
Planned Parenthood Urges Congress to Override President's Veto of Labor-HHS-Education Bill
Earlier today President Bush vetoed the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which included the largest increase in Title X family planning funding in 35 years. This increase is estimated to provide services for an additional 139,000 women and would help to prevent 24,000 unintended pregnancies and 10,000 abortions. The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which passed Congress by a wide margin, includes a $310.9 million appropriation for Title X family planning funding.
The Title X family planning program provides critical funding needed for family planning services for millions of low-income patients, in areas such as contraceptive services; breast and cervical cancer screening; sexually transmitted infection and HIV prevention, testing and education; and related counseling services.
"This veto is another example of President Bush's practice of putting politics ahead of women and families. More than 17 million women in the United States need subsidized birth control, and this historic increase in family planning would help thousands of women prevent unintended pregnancy and plan healthy families," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards. "Increasing funding for birth control has been one of Planned Parenthood's top priorities under our Prevention First agenda. Planned Parenthood worked with pro-family planning champions in Congress to secure this additional funding. Every dollar invested in family planning and preventive care helps women and couples prevent unintended pregnancy and plan strong, healthy families."
Title X family planning programs have been key in helping millions of American women prevent unintended pregnancies and obtain reproductive health care for more than 30 years. Research has found that each public dollar spent to provide family planning services saves an estimated $3.00 that would otherwise be spent in Medicaid costs for pregnancy-related care and medical care for newborns. [Forrest, Jacqueline & Renée Samara. (1996). "Impact of Publicly Funded Contraceptive Services on Unintended Pregnancies and Implications for Medicaid Expenditures." Family Planning Perspectives, 28(4), 188-95.]
A study in the American Journal of Public Health measured the cost of contraceptive methods compared to the cost of unintended pregnancies when no contraception was used, and found the total savings to the health care system to fall between $9,000 and $14,000 per woman over five years of contraceptive use. [Trussell, James, et al. (1995). "The Economic Value of Contraception: A Comparison of 15 Methods." American Journal of Public Health, 85, 494-503.]
According to the Office of Family Planning in the Department of Health and Human Services, Title X family planning funds provide services to approximately five million individuals through a network of more than 4,400 community-based clinics, including safety-net providers like Planned Parenthood.
"The president refuses to recognize that the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and promote healthy families is to invest in family planning programs like Title X, and ensure more women and families have access to reproductive health care," said Richards. She continued, "Congress must show its support for smart, sensible family planning and override this misguided veto."