Includes Expanding Medicaid Family Planning Programs To Prevent Unintended Pregnancies and Strengthen Women's Health Care
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) applauds President Barack Obama for living up to his commitment to supporting women’s health and investing in commonsense proposals to expand family planning programs. President Obama’s 2010 budget includes a provision to expand family planning under Medicaid, which would help extend basic health care to millions more women. In addition, the president’s budget promotes “evidence-based” teen pregnancy prevention programs.
“We commend the president for his commitment to make family planning and basic health care services, including lifesaving cancer screenings, more accessible and affordable to millions of low-income women and their families,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “With women and their families losing health coverage every day, we applaud the president for making women’s health a priority as he works to reform our health care system.”
The president’s budget includes a line item under the Health Reform Reserve Fund to “Expand availability of family planning services under Medicaid.”
Expanding family planning under Medicaid has been one of Planned Parenthood’s top priorities under our Prevention First Agenda. Also known as the Medicaid Family Planning State Option, it would simply allow states to expand their Medicaid family planning services, including cancer screenings and other preventive care, to more women in need, without having to go through the burdensome Medicaid waiver process.
The Medicaid Family Planning State Option would have a significant impact on women’s health and is vital to expanding care to the millions of women who are losing either their jobs or their health insurance in this economic downturn. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this provision would provide coverage to 2.3 million low-income women by 2014. A study by the Guttmacher Institute finds that this flexible option would help 500,000 women avoid unplanned pregnancy.
“As the nation’s leading advocate and provider of women’s health care, including reproductive health services, we see every day that the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and promote healthy families is to invest in family planning programs and ensure more women and families have access to affordable, quality reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education programs,” said Richards. “In addition, President Obama’s budget blueprint makes reducing teen pregnancy using ‘evidence-based models’ a priority.
“With President Obama, we have a leader who agrees with what doctors, scientists, parents and teens have been saying for years: comprehensive sex education, including information about abstinence as well as contraception, helps prevent teen pregnancies,” said Richards. “President Obama’s budget makes clear that the government won’t waste federal dollars on programs that don’t work, that won’t reduce teen pregnancy, and that won’t keep teens healthy and safe. He has clearly stated that our shared goal must be to reduce unintended pregnancies and ensure that all women, regardless of income, have access to affordable care to lead healthy lives.”
May 14, 2014