Today, the House leadership launched its latest outrageous attack on women’s health by proposing to dismantle the nation’s family planning program.
February 09, 2011
The House leadership’s FY 2011 Continuing Resolution proposes to completely eliminate the Title X family planning program, which has connected millions of American women with health care since Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1970.
“Unbelievably, the House leadership has set its sights on abolishing a program that provides lifesaving and preventive care to millions of women and saves taxpayers money by helping women plan their families. This is an extreme proposal, and the new leaders of the House are pushing it forward at great risk to women and at their own political peril.
“Congress should be doing everything it can to ensure that women have access to preventive care, not eliminating the very program that provides it.
“The real impact of eliminating the Title X program is that millions of women across the country will lose access to basic primary and preventive health care, such as lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception, STI testing and treatment, and annual exams. In fact, six in 10 women who access care from a family planning health center consider it to be their main source of health care.
“Simply put, more women will get sick and be at an increased risk of undetected cancer if Title X is eliminated. There will also be more unintended pregnancies.
“Under the guise of cutting the budget, the House leadership is launching an all-out assault on women’s health. The simple fact is, family planning programs like Title X save money. For every public dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4.*
“The House leadership’s proposal to eliminate the Title X program is bad policy, bad politics, and flat out immoral. That’s why we urge Congress to reject this dangerous proposal.”
The House Appropriations Committee announced in a press release today a $327 million cut to family planning. For FY 2010, $317 million was appropriated for the Title X program, but the President’s FY11 budget request was for $327 million.
The Title X program provides comprehensive family planning services as well as a wide range of other preventive health care, including:
-breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination
-Pap tests for early detection of cervical cancer or precancerous conditions
-testing for high blood pressure
-screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections
-referrals to specialized health care
In 2009 alone, Title X providers performed 2.2 million Pap tests, 2.3 million breast exams, and over six million tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including nearly a million HIV tests.**
The Center for American Progress highlights a CBS/New York Times poll showing that a majority of Americans oppose cuts to health care. “The CBS/New York Times survey found that people want the deficit reduced through spending cuts rather than tax increases by a margin of 77 percent to 9 percent, but they oppose cuts for health care and education as a means of reducing the deficit — by a margin of 67 percent to 27 percent. Rank-and-file Republicans were more willing to cut these programs than either Democrats or independents but they still rejected such cuts by a margin of 52 percent to 40 percent.”
*Frost, JJ et al., Contraceptive Needs and Services: National and State Data, 2008 Update, Guttmacher Institute, 2010.
**Fowler, Christina, et al. (2010). Family Planning Annual Report: 2009 National Summary. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.