As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood strongly opposes the funding cuts to the Title X National Family Planning Program in the FY 2012 appropriations package that just passed the US House of Representatives. These draconian cuts are just another example of Tea Party Republicans’ attacks on women’s health.
The Title X National Family Planning Program is a vital component of this country’s health care safety net and one of our nation’s most effective programs in reducing unintended pregnancies and providing women’s health care to those who need it the most. It provides funding for preventive health care to more than five million women and men, including birth control, cancer screenings and annual exams.
With more than 17 million women in need of publicly funded family planning care, and as Americans continue to deal with challenging economic times, now is the time to invest in the national family planning program, not cut its funding.
In total, Title X funding will drop from $299 million to $291.4 million (which includes the across-the-board cuts). As a result of this cut, women across the country will lose access to basic primary and preventive health care. We urge the Senate to reject Tea Party Republicans’ reckless across-the-board cut and preserve access to preventive health services.
In addition, Planned Parenthood strongly opposes the policy rider restricting the District of Columbia’s right to make its own decisions regarding how to spend local money. Yet again, Republican leaders are attempting to impose their political ideology on the women of the District of Columbia.
Congress should allow the District of Columbia to use its own local funds to pay for medically necessary abortion services for low-income women if it so chooses, just as all 50 states are allowed the same option.
Planned Parenthood also opposes the inclusion of new funding for ineffective abstinence-only programs, the provision banning funding for needle exchange in federally funded programs, as well as funding cuts to the CDC for HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention, and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
Planned Parenthood also strongly opposes two longstanding riders:
· the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal Medicaid funds from being used to pay for abortions
· the Weldon Amendment, which allows hospitals, health care facilities, and insurance plans broad refusal provisions without offering any protections for patients to ensure they have access to care and information in a timely manner
Planned Parenthood strongly urges public officials to stop playing politics with women’s health, and instead focus on improving our nation’s economy and ensuring Americans have access to affordable quality health care.
December 16, 2011
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
December 16, 2011