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President's Budget Proposal Ignores America's Family Planning Needs
Planned Parenthood Calls on Congress to Pass Prevention First Act
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today criticized the president's budget for proposing devastating cuts to the cornerstone of America's health care safety net, the Medicaid program. The budget also fails to provide a long-overdue funding increase for Title X, the nation's family planning program, which provides access to contraception for low-income women and couples who want to plan their families.
PPFA President Cecile Richards issued the following statement on President Bush’s budget proposal:
"For years, women and families have relied on Medicaid and Title X for family planning services. With the number of holes that this administration has poked in both programs, it's no wonder that American families are falling through the cracks. This budget will only worsen America's health care crisis.
"Now, Bush has put forward a budget that turns its back on women in need. There are more than 17 million women in the United States who require subsidized family planning services, and there is not enough funding to meet the need. For just a fraction of what this administration spends on abstinence-only programs, 500,000 more women could receive the health care services they need to plan healthy pregnancies, including birth control, cancer screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Most importantly, that small funding increase could help women prevent 87,000 unintended pregnancies this year alone.
"Congress must address this injustice. On Tuesday Secretary Leavitt will appear before the Committee on Energy and Commerce. He must explain the lack of family planning funding in this budget and the appointment of anti-birth control hardliner Eric Keroack to oversee the nation's family planning program.
"Planned Parenthood applauds efforts by members of Congress to pass the Prevention First Act, which will expand access to the health care services that the Bush administration is trying to restrict. The Prevention First Act is commonsense legislation that will fund family planning services, extend Medicaid support to more women, and give women, men, and couples access to the health information and services they need to plan strong, healthy families and prevent unintended pregnancy."
On Tuesday, February 13, Planned Parenthood affiliates and their supporters will hold a nationwide Day of Action, calling on elected officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to pass the Prevention First Act and state legislation that will help women and couples prevent unintended pregnancy by expanding access to birth control and real sex education.