Bill Ends Funding of Failed Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs, Funds International Reproductive Health Care at Highest Levels Ever
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today praised Congress for the passage of the 2010 Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for important programs that provide women and families with access to preventive care worldwide. The omnibus spending bill, for the first time, eliminates funding for failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, in favor of funding evidence-based sex education that has proven effective in preventing unintended pregnancy. The appropriations measure will also fund international reproductive health and family planning at an all-time high.
“We commend Congress for ending the funding of the abstinence-only programs that have failed our young people, as evidenced by the epidemic rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “At Planned Parenthood we see firsthand the benefit of ensuring young people have access to comprehensive, medically accurate reproductive health information in order to lead healthy, productive lives.”
The new evidence-based teen pregnancy initiative will replace the Community Based Abstinence Education program implemented under the previous administration. The new initiative, funded at $114 million, will be administered by the newly authorized Office of Adolescent Health in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, Title X, the nation’s family planning program, received a $10 million increase for a total of $317,491,000, which still falls short of adequately funding the program.
Under the 2010 appropriation, international reproductive health care and family planning will receive the highest levels of funding ever at $648 million, including $55 million for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Unfortunately, the international news was not all positive, as language adopted this year by the Senate Appropriations Committee to permanently repeal the global gag rule was not included in the final bill.
Lastly, the omnibus appropriations eliminates a long-standing prohibition on the District of Columbia’s use of locally raised tax dollars for medically necessary abortion care for low-income women. This prohibition was also eliminated in the president’s budget and marks a tremendous change for the District of Columbia, which will now be able to make the same decision as the 50 states whether to use local funds for abortion care.
“Access to reproductive health care for women and girls is critical in our efforts to strengthen families around the world,” Richards continued. “We applaud Congress for prioritizing this important work and look forward to continuing to reach more people in need through our work in 11 countries across the globe.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
May 14, 2014