Today the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee took a step in the right direction by holding the line on funding for the nation’s family planning program (Title X) and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. While more funding is needed to meet the needs of women and young people across the country, and the $5 million increase for abstinence-only grants should be rejected, we are glad to see a bipartisan Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill that rejects the attacks on women’s health we saw in the Congress last year.
Teen pregnancy rates are at historic lows, and more than 99% of women of childbearing age have used birth control. The success of publicly funded investments in family planning is evident in health care outcomes across the country. More than 4 million women and men nationwide rely on the nation’s family planning program for access to essential care like birth control and cancer screenings. The evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which helps youth make healthy decisions, is also flat funded, in addition to the increase in abstinence-only education. Unfortunately, the committee took the misguided step of providing an additional $5 million for abstinence-only grants.
Statement from Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs:
"Today we took a step in the right direction, but this fight is far from over. Reproductive health is public health, and it's a smart investment for Congress. We are glad to see leaders reaching across the aisle to defend the nation’s family planning program from cuts that would further harm women. But the truth is Planned Parenthood health centers cannot meet the needs of millions of people without additional funding for basic, preventive health care, and we can’t expect our young people to stay safe and healthy when the Senate majority is pushing abstinence-only programs that ignore the real needs of youth to make healthy decisions.
“The House has yet to act and states across the country are moving to eliminate access to federal family planning resources for women, men and young people across the country through their political attacks on access to Planned Parenthood. Women don’t need politicians to make it harder for them to access sex education and birth control. And our young people most definitely don’t deserve federal dollars to be wasted on programs that withhold critical health information. Rather, we should empower young people with the education they need to make healthy decisions. These are values our state and Congressional leaders should champion, regardless of their party.”
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 over 650 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.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
June 09, 2016